Diego Maradona has requested a meeting with the Argentina team ahead of their final Group D game against Nigeria on Tuesday.
Argentina’s fate is no longer in their own hands after their 3-0 loss to Croatia on Thursday and they now need a win and nothing less against the Nigerians on Tuesday.
The 1986 World Cup winner described himself as “furious and upset” and lashed out at the Argentina Football Association President Claudio Tapia as the “guilty party” after Thursday’s result.
Maradona insisted he “would love” to meet the Argentina players before the critical Nigeria game – and suggested that several of his former teammates should join him for the meeting.
“I would love to hold a meeting with them, with (Nery) Pumpido, with (Sergio) Goycochea, with (Claudio) Caniggia, with (Pedro) Troglio, even with (Daniel) Passarella if he wants to come, and with (Jorge) Valdano
“It cost us too much to be where we are for Croatia to hit us for three goals and to leave with our arms crossed without putting a foot in.
“We’re going to defend our honour,” he told Venezuelan TV channel Telesur.
“I’m furious and very upset inside, because anyone who has worn that shirt can’t see it being trampled like that by a Croatian team that isn’t Germany, that isn’t Brazil, that isn’t Holland or Spain.
“But there is a guilty party and the culprit is the president of the AFA. Everyone just accepted it when Sampaoli came in with computers, with drones, with 14 assistants.
“I think there is a total lack of authority on Tapia’s part.”