Argentina came into the game in Cape Town having won all four of their previous games in South Africa but were torn apart by Joachim Low's impressive young side, with Thomas Muller opening the scoring, Miroslav Klose netting twice and defender Arne Friedrich also getting on the scoresheet.
Maradona has been the subject of regular criticism during his time in charge of the national side thanks to some unconvincing performances, even if Argentina's form in the group stages and a second round victory over Mexico was impressive.
After his dream of winning the World Cup as player and coach evaporated, Maradona conceded he may consider resigning from his post. Argentina appointed their hero from the 1986 World Cup as boss in November 2008.
"I may leave tomorrow [Sunday]," Maradona said. "We will see what happens. Whoever comes after me I hope will follow the attacking style. Listen, I haven't thought about leaving, I have to check with my family and players."
He admitted that the prospect of returning to Argentina having let down an expectant public was a daunting one.
"I am totally disappointed," Maradona said. "We will go back and that is difficult after losing but we will sit down and figure out what happened.
"I don't think anybody can be happy with the result. We live and breathe football and no-one will be glad we lost 4-0. The day I stopped playing football could have been similar to this.
"The sadness is really strong, it is tough. We had a wish to go beyond today and be among the four best teams in the world. We had this dream and the opposite happened.
"I lived through this in 1982 as a player. I was a boy and didn't realise. Today, I am 50 in October and mature and it is the toughest day of my life. This is like a kick in the face. I have no more energy for anything.''
Argentina striker Carlos Tevez blamed the defeat on errors. "We just had a bad game. If you make mistakes like that, you go home," he said. "We knew they could be dangerous on set-pieces and on the counter-attack."