'We are screwed' - Maradona doubts Argentina World Cup qualification without Messi

With the Barcelona star suspended, the two-time World Cup winner questions whether Argentina will qualify for the quadrennial tournament

Argentina great Diego Maradona doubts whether his nation can qualify for the 2018 World Cup with Lionel Messi suspended.

The two-time world champions sit in fifth – the play-off spot – in qualifying after winning just six of 14 matches.

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Messi is serving a four-game ban for insulting an official, and the first of those matches was a 2-0 loss to Bolivia and led to coach Edgardo Bauza being sacked.

Maradona, a 1986 World Cup winner, questioned whether Argentina could qualify for Russia 2018.

"We are screwed," he told Radio Rivadavia.

"Without Messi, qualification is doubtful."

Argentina are yet to appoint Bauza's replacement and their remaining four qualifiers are against Uruguay, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador.