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Maradona pours scorn on Argentina coach after Iceland draw

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  • Post category:Football / Sports
  • Post last modified:18/06/2018
  • Reading time:2 mins read

BRONNITSY (Russia): 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. “It’s a disgrace. Not having prepared for the match knowing that Iceland is 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.

 

 

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.