World Cup: Maradona weeps as Argentina crash to Croatia

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona lost control of his emotions on Thursday as Argentina were beaten mercilessly 3-0 by Croatia.

Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic were the difference in the Group D encounter.

Rebic made the most of a goalkeeping error, Modric fired home a superb long-range effort and Rakitic completed the rout as Argentina suffered their heaviest defeat in the first round group stages since losing 6-1 to Czechoslovakia in 1958.

Croatia took the lead at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium when Rebic spectacularly hooked the ball over his shoulder into the roof of the net in the 53rd minute after being teed up by a botched clearance from hapless goalkeeper Willy Caballero.

Skipper Modric then put his side on course to become the fourth country to book a place in the last 16 in Russia as he swerved right, then left and right again before hammering home a thunderous shot from just outside the area with 10 minutes left.

Rakitic struck the crossbar with a free kick soon after before finishing off the rout by tucking the ball away from close range in stoppage time to complete the victory, leaving a subdued Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammates dejected.

Maradona, who has been very critical of Messi, was spotted wiping his eyes during the encounter.

Argentina’s destinies are now out of their hands as a victory for Iceland could send them home early.