The former Argentinian international, Hernan Crespo, who appeared at three World Cups, has spoken about his disappointment with Argentina's debut against Iceland in Russia 2018. He said "Leo Messi isn't Maradona" and that "he can't win a World Cup by himself". He later added "Leo can go past one or two, but Dieguito dribbled past five England players. Do you understand the difference?"
"Messi isn't Maradona, he can't win the World Cup by himself. This is something Argentinians and the rest of his teammates must understand. He is phenomenal if you put him in the right conditions, like he has at Barcelona. Any other way and he tires," continued Crespo speaking to Italian newspaper 'La Gazzetta Sportiva'.
Hernan Crespo played for Argentina in 64 matches, scoring 35 goals, and appeared at the World Cups in France (1998), South Korea and Japan (2002) and Germany (2006), never getting past the quarter finals. In the Copa America he was part of the runners up in Venezuela, 2007.
"Who helped Messi against Iceland? Di Maria didn't get away from his marker once. The central midfielders didn't help. They didn't play like a team, didn't move like a team. They were all there waiting for Messi but it isn't possible to hand all the responsibility of every action to one player."
"Valdanito" is what they called Crespo, amongst other things, when he played for River Plate, Parma, Lazio, Inter Milán, Chelsea and Milan. He indicated that if he was in the place of Sampaoli he'd "look to find a method which left Messi one on one with his marker". "This is so Leo can make the difference. However, Argentina's matches all follow the same script: Messi against everyone and his teammates just stand watching."
Crespo also compared Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. "Cristiano plays by himself. He runs, is physically strong, can shoot and score. Messi, to be Messi, needs a team. If you put Messi in Portugal's team, he'd be so dangerous on the counterattack. The problem with Argentina is that their rivals shut up shop, there's no space and so, it serves its purpose. That's an obstacle they need to overcome."