Football legend Diego Maradona has blamed Lionel Messi for Argentina’s exit from the FIFA World Cup.

Maradona who watched from the VIP box as Argentina lost 4-3 to France likened Messi to comic character Patoruzú.

“I saw him very isolated, far away from the box,” Maradona said of Messi.

“I said that if he played as a No 9 and had to go looking for the ball, piece the game together, set the goals up and score them.

Maradona went on to criticise manager Jorge Sampaoli for his starting XI.

“It was already predicted in the build-up. We knew after we left Moscow that Pavon, Messi and Di María were the ones who were going to attack the French defence, yet I don’t think they know a lot about the box, penalty spot or putting pressure on the centre-backs,” Maradona said.