Following the exit of Argentina from the FIFA World Cup 2018, legend Diego Maradona slammed the national team for not being up to the mark against France in the Round of 16 clash on Saturday. Teenage rising star Kylian Mbappe struck twice as France finally found their attacking edge to beat Lionel Messi's Argentina 4-3 and move into the quarter-finals. "(Argentina) didn't know how to attack and what to do when they had the ball," Maradona was quoted as saying by Marca from Telesur's show 'De la mano del Diez.' "France, on the contrary, have variety that seems to me that this Argentina never had," the 1986 World Cup winner added.
Maradona also said Argentina are a completely different team without the presence of Lionel Messi, who failed to make a mark against France. He also insisted that Messi should have played in the role of a false no.9, where he could receive more of the ball which could have made a difference.
"Messi was very far from the goal and I said that if he was to be put as [a false] No.9, he would have to come looking for the balls, set up the game and attack the goal, without Messi, Argentina is just another team."
Meanwhile, Jorge Sampaoli was criticised for making an abrupt move to play without strikers against the Les Bleus.
Maradona reckoned that the the Argentine players hardly knew about attacking inside the box and pushing forward against the centre-backs.
"(I feel) bad that for another World Cup, Argentina couldn't manage to have a consistent team, however, you could already see it from the formation, as (we had already known) since we left Moscow that (Cristian) Pavon, (Lionel) Messi and (Angel) Di Maria were the ones who were going to attack against the French defence. I don't think they know a lot about (attacking) inside the box and pushing forward against the centre-backs."