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Lionel Messi opens up on son being left in tears and family “suffering” during World Cup

Lionel Messi has admitted that the World Cup has not been easy for his young family as the wave of emotion and pressure on Argentina has taken its toll for them

Lionel Messi has opened up on how his family “suffer” during the World Cup and that his son Mateo has already been left in tears due to the tournament’s emotion.

Messi and Enzo Fernandez netted superb goals to seal a vital victory for Lionel Scaloni’s side against a passive Mexico on Saturday evening. Had Argentina lost their second game, they would have crashed out of the tournament following their shock opening-match loss against Saudi Arabia.

It has been a pressure-filled week for Argentina, who are one of the most fervent football nations in the tournament who entered the World Cup with a 36-match unbeaten run and as one of the favourites to win the competition. The emotion was evident on the Argentine bench during the match.

Messi and his young family are not immune to the emotions of the Argentine population during the World Cup. The superstar and partner Antonela Roccuzzo have three sons: Thiago (born 2012), Mateo (born 2015) and Ciro (born 2018).

“Mateo left the stadium crying after the first game (against Saudi Arabia) and Thiago came out counting telling me that if we won both games we would qualify,” Messi said after the win against Mexico. “My family suffer the same as all Argentines, but we are happy and we get comfortable again because now our progress depends on us.”

Against Mexico, it was not until Messi’s moment of magic – finding space 25 yards from goal and nestling the bottom corner of the net with a rasping effort – 20 minutes after the break which lifted the tension to give Argentina the lead.

Lionel Messi showed an outburst of emotion after opening the scoring for Argentina ( Image: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

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Argentina secured the victory late on as substitute Fernandez scored from a Messi assist to further alleviate the pressure, but it will return as Scaloni’s side conclude their group-stage campaign against Poland – and they will likely need a win to seal qualification for the round of 16.

Messi added: “I am happy with the result and happy because now we will be quiet for a few days.” He acknowledged that the team faced the duel against Mexico “with great anxiety” because of the wait for the game and the need to bounce back from the opening-day defeat by Saudi Arabia.