(WFI) Argentina’s legend Diego Maradona has come out to defend Lionel Messi after the Barcelona attacker missed a penalty in his team’s draw against Iceland on Saturday.

Lionel Messi (Wikimedia Commons)

Speaking to Telesur, the 1986 World Champion said: “I missed five penalties in a row and I was still Diego Armando Maradona.

“The game and the two points lost by the team are not down to his penalty.

“He showed his face and gave everything he had to give. The ‘kid’ did his duty. Seeing him on the field, he was pretty p****d off. Just like I would have been,” said Maradona.

Messi’s penalty was saved by goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson in the 64th minute of a game that ended 1-1.

Messi has now missed four of his last seven penalties.

“Obviously it hurts me to have missed the penalty. I feel responsible for not having been able to take the three points. I have no doubt that a goal from the penalty kick would have changed everything,” admitted Messi after the game.

Insects in the World Cup

A plague of small flying insects have caused chaos for fans, locals and the media in the city of Volgograd where England and Tunisia played on Monday.

Players from both teams had to use mosquito repellent before taking to the pitch at the Volgograd Arena, a stadium located on the banks of the Volga River where according to experts, flies are growing out of the larva stage and turning into adults, leaving the water en masse and flying around the city to mate.

Although some entomologists believe they are non-biting flies, there are some mosquitoes thrown into the mix as well.

The area around the stadium and the fan festival zone have been treated with repellents, which they say are safe for humans and animals.

Volgograd, which is in the southeast of the country, has already taken some measures. Two days ago they deployed helicopters to spray the nearby marshland with pesticides.

Fans are allowed to take repellent spray into the fan zone.

Denmark William Kvist out of the World Cup

Denmark’s William Kvist is back is his country after sustaining a fractured ribs and a punctured lung in his side’s 1-0 win over Peru.

He was injured when jumping for a high ball with Peru’s Jefferson Farfan. The Copenhagen player had to be carried off the pitch on a stretcher and substituted.

The injury happened on Saturday at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk.

Losing Kvist is a blow for Denmark coach Age Hareide, given the 33 year-old midfielder’s experience in international games.

The victory put Denmark in second place in Group C on three points with France top on goals scored. The Danes take on Australia in their next match on Thursday.

Germany regroups after defeat

Germany cancelled all media activities on Monday following their 1-0 defeat to Mexico in their World Cup opener on Sunday.

The team trained behind closed doors while a news conference with former captain Philipp Lahm on Germany’s bid for the 2024 European Championships was cancelled. 

The Germany camp is set to resume normal business on Tuesday before Joachim Low’s side flies out to Sochi for Saturday’s group match against Sweden.

German media have slammed the team after its the first defeat in a World Cup opener since 1982.

“Kicker” magazine says that against Mexico the German team and its eight World Cup winners lacked everything: Hunger, defensive stability, inspiration as well as physical and mental freshness. They looked like a formation past their prime.

Meanwhile Bild says “Worst defence in years, an invisible attack and the midfield was just watching. What a disappointment! Did anyone see the world champions? They were in any case not on the pitch in Moscow yesterday. Four years on from the gigantic 7-1 against Brazil, the title holder loses 1-0 to Mexico.”

Homepage photo: Wikimedia

By INSIDER Javier Monne

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