Lionel Messi’s mother, Celia, has defended her son from criticism, after he missed a penalty in Argentina’s 1-1 draw against Iceland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
She rubbished the talk that Messi does not have the same passion for his country, as he does for Barcelona.
“We suffer the criticism Leo receives when they say he doesn’t feel proud when he puts on the Argentinian shirt or that he plays for his country out of obligation,” Celia said on Argentina TV.
“It’s not true. If you saw him, like we’ve seen him suffer and cry!
“It hurts you to hear things like that.
“From here all his family are supporting him.
“I would give everything for this to be his World Cup. Fortunately people love him and transmit that to him and he values that a lot.
“I think he’s optimistic and his dream is to win a World Cup. It’s what he wants the most. He looks calm to me. I told him to do what he knows best, to enjoy himself and I’ve told him all his family are supporting him.”
Argentina take on Croatia in their next Group D clash on Thursday.