Bizarre: Theory why Lionel Messi missed World Cup 2018 penalty against Iceland
6 months ago, 17 June 11:12
Lionel Messi had three World Cup points on a plate for Argentina when he stepped up to take a penalty against Iceland on Saturday afternoon.
The Barcelona legend has such scoring pedigree that, when he scuffed the spot kick and Hannes Halldorsson got both hands behind the ball, the overriding feeling was disbelief.
Could there be a straightforward explanation for why the most skilful players of his generation made the most elementary of mistakes?
According to the Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman, Messi was paying the price for the decision to cancel a World Cup warm-up match between Israel and Argentina that was planned to take place on 9 June in Jerusalem.
"In the Argentina against Iceland game we saw just how much Messi needed the warm-up game against Israel," Liberman tweeted after the miss.
The Argentines had pulled out of the friendly match at the last minute amid intense protests and threats of violence from Palestinians.
Liberman also heaped praise on Iceland for their "giant" performance after the minnows held on for an impressive 1-1 draw in their World Cup debut.
Despite the outspoken punditry, it is less than convincing that the extra game would have helped Messi with his penalty taking.
He has missed four penalties in his last seven attempts for club and country and more than 20 over the course of his career.
Category: entertainment pulse enews