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16th Jun 2018

Jose Mourinho and Sergio Aguero said the same thing about Lionel Messi’s penalty miss

Turns out he is human after all

Darragh Murphy

They might appear superhuman at times but the greatest athletes on the planet are, in fact, mere mortals.

Lionel Messi’s confidence will almost certainly have been rocked by his shocking penalty miss during Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland on Saturday afternoon.

Messi squandered a gilt-edged opportunity to give his side a 2-1 lead in their Group D opener as he hit his penalty at an easy height for Icelandic goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson to reach.

Given the Argentina captain’s unspectacular record from the spot, some supporters expected Sergio Aguero, who opened the scoring, to take the penalty but Messi pulled rank.

It was not Messi’s best game by any means but Aguero has reminded supporters that the Barcelona superstar is indeed human and ought to be supported at this difficult time.

“The first match is always the most difficult. Everyone wants to play against us,” Aguero told TyC Sports. “They were defending, their only chances to score were from a set piece or looking for the second play. I think they celebrated the draw as a victory.

“Leo showed he’s human. We support him. He just had a bad day, but we know that he can give us the victory at any moment of the game. I hope he can be better for next match against Croatia.”

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho echoed Aguero’s sentiments by claiming that no matter how big the player might be, a mistake like Messi’s is bound to affect them.

Mourinho has reiterated that Messi is a human for whom the missed penalty will have a significant psychological impact for the remainder of the tournament.

“No, when you miss a penalty in the World Cup, in the moment when the team needs a goal, that affects you,” he told RT.

“He was trying, the one against one [defender], the one against two, the one against three… it was difficult for him, in spite of that he hit a few shots.”

“Probably even in superman, even in super players, they are humans, they have feelings and I think the penalty [miss] affected him,” Mourinho added.