Argentina vs Belgium World Cup 2014 preview: Diego Maradona says Albiceleste cannot just rely on Lionel Messi in the quarter-final

World Cup winner says his nation 'haven't got started' in Brazil

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The Independent Football

Argentina need to be less reliant on their brilliant No 10 Lionel Messi, says former great Diego Maradona ahead of their World Cup quarter-final against Belgium.

Maradona, who led La Albiceleste to a World Cup in 1986, has said that the Barcelona star is "very alone" at the moment.

"We still haven’t got started," Maradona told Venezuelan TV.

"They need to get it into their heads that we can’t be ‘Sporting Messi’. Maybe he can score a great goal but if it doesn’t come off for the kid, we can’t jump on him tomorrow as if it’s an Argentine disaster.

Messi has had a hand in five of Argentina's seven goals, scoring four of his own and creating the winner against Switzerland with a perfect pass to Angel Di Maria.

Maradona added: "Messi is very alone, the team doesn’t have a change of rhythm, movement in its strikers. I feel something very strong inside, like bitterness, rage, frustration, because Argentina can play much, much better, the coach has to impose this."

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella could make up to four changes for the game, including bringing in Manchester City's Martin Demichelis for Federico Fernandez.

Diego Maradona says Argentina are too reliant on the star

Sergio Aguero is unlikely to play because of the thigh injury that forced him off against the Swiss - he has returned to training but will probably not be risked by Sabella.

Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gonzalo Higuain's places are also under threat, with Maxi Rodriguez a possibility to be included from the start.