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Lionel Messi penalty miss could be a good omen for Argentina

James Aldred

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Lionel Messi penalty miss could be a good omen for Argentina

Despite booking their place in the last 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, all the talk surrounding Argentina tonight is about their talisman Lionel Messi.

The 35 year old missed a first half penalty, with second half strikes from Alexis Mac Allister and Manchester City's Julian Alvarez enough to spare Messi's blushes and book the South Americans a place in the knockout stages.

However, should Argentina go on and win the tournament, Messi might have reason to believe that his squandered spot kick was the secret to their success.

That's because on the two previous occasions that The White and Sky Blues have lifted the Jules Rimet, they've missed a penalty in the final group match.

The first time this happened was back in 1978, with Mario 'El Matador' Kempes denied from six yards as the tournament edged towards knockout football.

The same thing happened just eight years later, with Diego Maradona failing to find the back of the net from a similar distance.

Maradona against Colombia
Maradona against Colombia

However, neither miss stopped Argentina from advancing, with Kempes and Maradona playing key roles in their team's triumphs.

While Kempes netted a brace in the final against Netherlands, Maradona was instrumental in getting his country through the latter stages of the competition.

After an iconic brace against England in the Quarter Final, which included the notorious 'Hand of God' goal, 'The Golden Boy' scored twice in the Semi-Final against Belgium too.

This secured Argentina's passage to the final against West Germany in Mexico City, which they won 3-2 in the final few minutes.

Messi is currently at the World Cup. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Messi is currently at the World Cup. (Image Credit: Alamy)

With such an incredible track record when missing a penalty in their final group game, you can't help but feel like the stars are aligning for Messi and his compatriots once again.


However, with the unpredictable Australia to come in the last 16, it's not guaranteed that history will repeat itself in Qatar.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

James Aldred
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