FIFA World Cup 2018: Diego Maradona launches scathing attack on Argentina coach after Iceland draw

Bronnitsy: Argentina legend Diego Maradona issued a scathing assessment Sunday of his country's World Cup draw with Iceland, warning manager Jorge Sampaoli that he would not be welcome back home unless he changes his tactics.

"Playing like that, he can't come back to Argentina," the 1986 World Cup winner told Venezuelan television after Lionel Messi missed a penalty in the 1-1 Group D stalemate in Moscow.

Former Argentina star Diego Maradona watches the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow. AP

Former Argentina star Diego Maradona watches the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow. AP

"It's a disgrace. Not having prepared for the match knowing that Iceland are all 1.90m tall... I get the feeling there's a general anger at the heart of the team," said Maradona, himself a former national team coach.

Argentina took the lead through Sergio Aguero in the 19th minute Saturday as a cigar-puffing Maradona looked on from the stands of the Spartak Stadium.

But minnows Iceland, playing at their first ever finals, levelled four minutes later through Alfred Finnbogason.

Messi, whose performances in World Cups are arguably the only blot on an other-worldly career, spurned a chance to take the lead when his 63rd-minute spot kick was saved by Hannes Halldorsson.

But Maradona avoided criticising his heir apparent and instead pointed the finger at Sampaoli.

"I don't blame the players. I could blame the lack of work rate. But I can't blame the players, much less Messi, who gave it all he had," he said.

"I missed five penalties on the spin and I was still Diego Armando Maradona. I don't think that they dropped two points because Messi missed a penalty," added Maradona, who led Argentina to the quarter-finals in South Africa in 2010.

Argentina play Croatia in their next game in Saint Petersburg on 21 June.

Click here for full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018

Click here to view the full schedule of FIFA World Cup 2018

Click here to view the Points Table of FIFA World Cup 2018​

 


Updated Date: Jun 18, 2018 10:31 AM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See