Can anybody tell me the exact meaning of the following sentence?
"It was back to the press conference soundbites for Maradona in the lead up to the last-16 game against Mexico, whose profile was arguably even greater than that of the squad he was managing".
For example: what does "it" refer to in the following expression: " It was back to…." and what is the meaning of "profile"?
Here is the full context. It is about the Argentina football team – whose manager was the late Diego Maradona - campaign in FIFA World Cup 2010:
"Argentina’s on-field campaign started off in a far more understated fashion than the media sideshows. Defender Gabriel Heintze’s early goal was enough to see off a tricky Nigeria side in the opening group game. That was followed by a far more impressive 4-1 win over South Korea, inspired by a Gonzalo Higuaín hat-trick. A 2-0 victory over Greece saw La Aalbiceleste through to the knockout phase as winners of Group B. It was back to the press conference soundbites for Maradona in the lead up to the last-16 game against Mexico, whose profile was arguably even greater than that of the squad he was managing. The ball, it would seem, was of most concern to the manager: “This ball is useless. It’s impossible to control.” His team didn’t seem to have too any problems with the ball against Mexico, though, running out 3-1 winners in their most impressive performance of the tournament".
Thanks in advance.
Mahmoud 2003what does "it" refer to in the following expression: " It was back to…."
It's a dummy "it", so it doesn't refer to any specific thing. The meaning of the first part is basically something like "Maradona went back to (issuing) press conference soundbites ...", i.e. he repeated or reverted to previous behaviour. The inverted structure with "It was ... for ..." is a stylistic choice.
Mahmoud 2003what is the meaning of "profile"?
"profile" is used in sense 3 at https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/profile:
"The extent to which a person or organization attracts public notice."
I.e., Maradona attracted even more attention than the squad.
The sentence as a whole is faulty because grammatically "whose" appears to refer to Mexico, yet from the overall meaning we can see that it is supposed to refer to Maradona.