Burnley midfielder Johann Gudmundsson hopes Iceland frustrate Lionel Messi and stop the Barcelona star from scoring when they meet in their 2018 FIFA World Cup opening Group D clash at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on Saturday.
Gudmundsson, who was part of the Icelandic side that earned a 1-1 draw against Portugal at the 2016 European Championship in France, believes that feat could inspire Iceland to another famous result on Saturday.
“Ronaldo was obviously pissed off because they couldn’t score a second against us,” Gudmundsson said during Iceland’s press conference monitored by Completesportsnigeria.com in Kabardinka.
“It was our first game in a major tournament and they couldn’t beat Iceland so it was not nice for them. He’s a winner so he got a bit angry.
“It will be tough to play against him [Messi] but as long as he is frustrated and can’t score, we’re happy. Let’s just go out there and try to beat them and make him even more angry [than Ronaldo was].
“When the draw was made I said I wanted Brazil or Argentina and we got one of them. In the first game in the Euros we played Ronaldo and now it’s Messi. We kept Ronaldo quite quiet so hopefully will do the same with Messi.
“We know we’re probably going to be defending a lot of the time and Messi can turn it on but we just have to see where it takes us.
“Attacking wise they’re one of best in tournament but they have a few in defence who are maybe not at the highest level like their attackers so hopefully we use that to our advantage.
“This is going to be bigger than the Euros but I think we will know more what’s going to happen now that we didn’t know in France. I think that will help us a bit.”
After facing Argentina, Iceland will face Nigeria and Croatia in their remaining two group games.