Lionel Messi ‘shouldn’t shoulder all the responsibility’, says Jorge Sampaoli

May JohnsonJun 21, 2018

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.

Maradona and Barcelona star Messi worked together without success as manager and player at the 2010 World Cup.

Argentina, with a population of more than 44 million, is fifth on the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings list and has won the World Cup twice, being one of only eight teams in the world to have won the Cup.

I hope our Lions were watching as Iceland drew in their World Cup opening match with Argentina (Messi messes up as Iceland roar in draw; June 17). The pressure led Messi to quit, albeit briefly, from global duty in 2016 after Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa Centenario.

"It's not true. If you saw him, like we've seen him, suffer and cry".

"We have had some hard moments with the national team", states Messi, who has admitted he may call time on his Argentina career once and for all at the end of this World Cup.

He added: "When we succeed with Argentina, everyone takes credit for it but when Argentina loses, it's always Leo's fault. It's important to take advantage of the spaces which MESSI generates when there's two or three players on him".

On the show, Cuccittini said that it's Messi's dream to win a World Cup, but that the pressure he's under is enormous.

Mohamed Salah left out of Egypt's starting XI against Uruguay
On Salah's absence, he added: "If Mo Salah had been on the pitch, I'm sure Egypt would have benefited". The World Cup Egypt vs Uruguay match will be played at Ekaterinburg Arena, Russia.

"There is a "Messi dependency" generated by Messi himself because of how incredible he is on the pitch, but we can not rest just on that. Obviously it hurts me to have missed the penalty", he said.

Celia was quick to deny allegations that Messi does not feel the same passion when he plays for Albiceleste.

The Barcelona great has often had a turbulent relationship with the Argentine media.

In the end, needed his sublime hat-trick in the final qualifier against Ecuador last October to seal their place in the finals and when they needed him most he delivered.

"He's the best player in the world, but clearly it's impossible that a single player completely changes the situation of a match". We had to play with that in mind.

"Now we are here, we are in Russian Federation, we have to try and do everything we can to win the World Cup for Argentina, for ourselves, for Messi".

The Croatians opened their tournament campaign with a 2-0 win over Nigeria, putting them in a better spot in Group D than Argentina when the teams meet on the banks of the Volga in Nizhny Novgorod.

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