sports: Argentina's Lionel Messi 'suffers and cries' in pursuit of World Cup dream - mother
Lionel Messi's mother, Celia Cuccittini, said her son has been deeply affected by criticism of his performances with Argentina and insists he wants nothing more than to win the World Cup.
Messi had a penalty saved in Argentina's 1-1 draw with Iceland on Saturday, one day after Cristiano Ronaldo had a hat trick in Portugal's 3-3 draw with Spain.
Argentina lost three straight finals at major competitions in a three-year span -- the 2014 World Cup against Germany and the second and third at the Copa America the following two years.
"His aim is to bring the Cup home, to win the World Cup," Cuccittini said in an appearance on El Trece television show "Diario de Mariana." "It's one of his biggest desires. We see him suffer and cry at times.
"He is the first who wants to bring the Cup with him. He more than anyone would give everything for this to be his World Cup."
I see him much more relaxed, calmer and with more confidence," Cuccittini said. "I wished him a lot of luck. I told him to enjoy himself, to live in the moment and be happy. I told him to do what he knows, to play just as if he was playing when he started out with Grandoli. I see him with expectations. ... All the family here is supporting him."
Cuccittini also said Messi's talent is not only on the pitch.
"Leo is a divine son, a beautiful brother, a better father and an incredible husband," she said. "I love my four children, but I would give anything for this to be his World Cup."