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Lionel Messi had a penalty kick saved and Iceland held on for a 1-1 draw against Argentina at the World Cup on Saturday.

The two-time champions arrived in Russian Federation dogged by poor form, injuries and controversy.

It would be no surprise if Messi retires after this World Cup, particularly if Argentina fail to fulfil sky-high expectations back home.

Not so, as it turned out, and by looking for Messi at every opportunity they sorely limited themselves in attack and suffered as a result.

Messi, the five-time Federation Internationale de Football Association player of the year, has struggled from the spot in some crucial moments.

Two years ago, Messi had missed a penalty that cost them the Copa America title and he had immediately announced his retirement from worldwide football, it had hurt him that much.

Former Argentina striker Hernan Crespo has jumped to the defence of Lionel Messi, saying he needs help from his team-mates to win the World Cup in Russian Federation. For Iceland, the humbling of a soccer superpower.

After Cristiano Ronaldo's drama show in Sochi the previous night, everything was over to Messi in Moscow's matinee.

"Deep down, we know that we come from Iceland".


"There is a bitterness of not being able to give the team all three points because I think we deserved it", the Barcelona icon said.

Iceland's players rushed to the stands to share their celebrations with their fans and now will have real belief that they can get out of Group D that also contains Croatia and Nigeria, who meet later on Saturday.

But it feels like we need to shed a bit more light on Saevarsson, who works a normal job in a salt-packing factory in capital Reykjavik alongside playing for semi-professional club Valur in his native country.

"We always come to win so that's why there is a certain amount of frustration".

In contrast, Messi, with the score at 1-1, drove his free-kick straight into the wall, booting the ball into the air in frustration as the final whistle sounded seconds later.

Obviously, Messi's record over the years speaks for itself, and one disappointing game - in which he did not play that badly in at all - will certainly not impact his legacy. With a team like Argentina it is just a fact they have players with superior skills.

To further compound their problems, goalkeeper Sergio Romero and midfielder Manuel Lanzini both fell victim to late injuries.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi said his worldwide future will be determined by his country's performance at the World Cup in Russian Federation.

Although it has just 33,000 people who regularly play football, Iceland has ensured they're not lacking for two necessities: pitches and coaches.


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