x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Maradona hails the 'perfect' performance

The Argentina coach Diego Maradona felt his side made France look "ridiculous" at times as the South Americans claimed a 2-0 win in Marseille.

Diego Maradona, the Argentina coach, celebrates Lionel Messi's goal to give the South Americans a 2-0 win in France.
Diego Maradona, the Argentina coach, celebrates Lionel Messi's goal to give the South Americans a 2-0 win in France.

The Argentina coach Diego Maradona felt his side made France look "ridiculous" at times as the South Americans claimed a 2-0 win in Marseille. A goal in each half from Jonas Gutierrez and Lionel Messi preserved Maradona's 100% record as coach. "The players did what I told them perfectly," the 1986 World Cup winner told TyC Sports. "I told the players that if we were able to show the same form we did in the 30 opening minutes of the Scotland match, we could beat anyone. That is what happened. "We did what we knew we had to do and in some moments we made France look ridiculous." Les Bleus did create a number of decent chances in the first half, the winger Franck Ribery missing the best of them, but the twinkling feet of Messi constantly troubled them. "We found it quite difficult to settle in the opening minutes because France have good players and we were unable to work out their abilities," Maradona added. "The guys did their job perfectly. The important thing is that we had possession of the ball. There is no player I can say played badly ? (Gabriel) Heinze, (Martin) Demichelis, (Javier) Mascherano, Messi, all the guys played a great match." Messi hailed the match as his "happiest day in the senior squad" and claimed Argentina have now found their best team. "When we could, we played great football by passing the ball and making France run behind it," said the Barcelona player. "This is the national team we have to have from now on. "This is my happiest day in the senior squad, because of the score, the way we played, my debut under Diego and because we played and beat the World Cup runners-up." Javier Mascherano believes the victory will boost confidence ahead of the resumption of their World Cup qualifying campaign. "We played a good match against a good national team and we won. When you win, there are a lot of highlights ? the victory, the winning mentality and it is very good for the team to recover the confidence we had lost," he said. "We were solid in defence too, as we have not conceded goals in two games. "We know we have great players. The important thing is putting them altogether to build a big squad. "The World Cup qualifiers are coming and we must start well this year. We must clinch the six points in March (against Venezuela and Bolivia) and that will be very important for the future." *PA Sport