Maradona shock - he sympathises with England
It is not everyday you will hear Diego Maradona express sympathy for England, but the Argentina coach was none too happy with the goal they should have been given against Germany on Sunday, DPA reported.
"As you know I am not a big fan of England but the goal would have made it 2-2 and have changed the whole nature of the game. Perhaps it would have gone into extra-time," he said.
Germany went on to win 4-1 after Frank Lampard's shot off the underside of the bar and behind the goalline was not seen by the linesman or referee.
Extra-time between England and Germany might have benefited Argentina in their upcoming quarter-final on Saturday against opponents who would have been forced to play longer.
Maradona has never been known for his sympathy for England and the feeling is mutual following his "hand of God" goal which helped eliminate England at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
His comments followed the 3-1 win over Mexico late Sunday which was helped by another error by match officials who did not see that Carlos Tevez was offside for the first goal of the game.
Asked about the offside goal and how he would have felt in Mexico coach Javier Aguirre's place, Maradona launched into an attack on the lack of protection for Lionel Messi.
"The same thing he (Aguirre) must have felt like when Messi is playing and Messi gets kicked around and the referee doesn't act," Maradona said.
Maradona said Italian referee Roberto Rosetti missed a lot and should have shown a yellow card to Mexico midfielder Gerardo Torrado for a foul on Messi early in the game.
"I know what it is like to have three players on you. Whenever he (Messi) has the ball everyone tries to kick him. What happens to him is a scandal. They don't even look for the ball, they kick him," he said.
"Okay, errors might happen. Against England, Germany played well because it was an open match and they weren't kicking each other. I understand the Mexican coach, he is as hot-blooded as anyone but I want Messi to be respected."