By Paul Giblin MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua)
-- Former Argentina star, Diego
Maradona needed treatment by paramedics following Argentina’s
nerve-wracking win over Nigeria which booked them a place in the
last 16 of the World Cup on Tuesday night.
Maradona was shown
by TV cameras during the game to be in a highly nervous state as
Argentina struggled for the win they needed to have a chance of
reaching the knockout stages of the tournament. Maradona was
pictured making obscene gestures to fans after defender Marcos
Rojo netted the late goal that earned the South Americans a tie
After the game,
Maradona was shown being helped from his seat in the St
Petersburg Stadium before collapsing into a chair. He received
treatment from Russian paramedics, with some media outlets
reporting he had been taken to a local hospital.
The former player
denied he had been taken to the hospital and posted a photo of
himself in a private jet about to fly to Moscow at around 01:45
a.m. on Wednesday.
striker Gary Lineker criticized Maradona’s goal celebrations as
he hosted the BBC’s World Cup coverage in England. “There’s
Diego Maradona celebrating...there’s a danger he’s becoming a
laughing stock I’m afraid,” Lineker said.
During his career
Maradona was twice banned for drug use, leaving Napoli after
testing positive for cocaine. He also received a further ban
after a positive drugs test during the 1994 World Cup finals.
playing for Argentina, says Sampaoli
SAINT PETERSBURG Russia (Xinhua) --
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli praised his
team for their 2018 World Cup victory against Nigeria on Tuesday
evening, and said that the match proved that Lionel Messi
enjoyed playing for Argentina.
Argentina’s opening goal at the Saint Petersburg Stadium. After
Nigeria equalized through a penalty, Marcos Rojo’s late volley
ensured Argentina were spared an early exit from the World Cup.
“Today they were
able to win against a very tough opponent. We had the necessary
strength to fight to the very last minute,” Sampaoli told
reporters at the post-match press conference.
“The most important
thing this evening was that the players were really brave and
that made the victory possible,” he added.
The Argentina coach
also refuted the notion that Messi didn’t enjoy playing for his
“He is a person who
feels, who cries, who suffers, who’s happy when Argentina win.
I’ve seen him sad and I’ve seen him happy, like he was today.
People have said he doesn’t enjoy playing for Argentina. That’s
not true and you saw it today,” Sampaoli said.
coach praised Messi for his outstanding performance, while
adding that the Argentina captain needed support from the other
“He needs the
support from his teammates, only then he will be able to show
his best,” he said.
“A coach who trains
Leo knows everyone around him needs to make him feel secure.
Otherwise, we’ll suffer because we have the best player in the
world and the other players need to benefit from that. That’s
why I said the game against Croatia was our problem, not his
problem,” he added.
With the victory,
Argentina finished second in Group D to secure a place in the
round of 16, where they will play France in Kazan on June 30.