Lionel Messi’s mother, Celia Messi, 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
Celia Messi also rubbished the idea that the Barcelona legend does not feel the same passion for his country as he does for his club.
She admitted it hurts her when Lionel’s loyalty to Argentina is questioned.
“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,” she 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.”