Diego Maradona lays into Argentina team after World Cup exit
Maradona prefers not to hold back
It's been a tough tournament for Argentina. A draw, a loss and a win in the group stage just about qualified them for the round of 16, where they met France in arguably the game of the tournament so far.
There were glaring problems with the squad, which lacked quality in defence and balance in attack. Jorge Sampaoli changed his formation and line up for every game at this tournament, demonstrating the lack of preparation Argentina went into the World Cup with.
Diego Maradona, Argentine icon and one of the greatest players of all time, was in attendance at all of Argentina's games and was often very animated in the stands. He's also been very vocal since his nation were knocked out by France, lamenting how far such a great footballing nation has fallen.
"We came to the cinema more than the pitch, because we came to see the chronicle of an announced death. And that's what happened," he said on teleSUR.
"France contained Messi, Argentina's midfield, so he could not get in behind them," he added.
"Without Messi we are just another team.
"The game was played in a way we anticipated. What we were expecting happened.
"Another World Cup has gone and we are left with nothing. It's bad that another World Cup happened and Argentina did not manage to have a consistent team."
It is hard to disagree with Maradona's assertion that without Messi, this Argentina side is nothing special. There are a plethora of contributing factors to Argentina's downfall, namely the lack of young defenders coming through from youth teams, and it will take a structural overhaul to arrest the decline of one of football's greatest countries.