Kempes went on to express his disappointment over La Albiceleste's 1-1 draw against debutants Iceland in their opening group fixture and believes that side can not rely exclusively on the exploits of Messi.

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

"I told him "This is the World Cup of 40 million [Argentinians]". 'When people say that he doesn't feel it or that he plays for the national team out of obligation, that hurts as a mother and as a family. Fortunately people love him and transmit that to him and he values that a lot.

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. "As a mother, I do, too". I see a lot of "Messi's friends" but not many "teammates".

"But tell me: who helped him against Iceland?"

Messi has been on the receiving end of plenty of criticism since Argentina's 1-1 draw with Iceland in their opening game of the 2018 World Cup.

Coach Ricardo Gareca said the Incas, who played some attractive soccer in going down 1-0 to Denmark in their first game, would not change their approach against the highly-fancied French on Thursday. "[Angel] Di Maria did not get past his opponent once, the midfielders did not support him".

Maradona said that the road to qualification is hard pointing Nigeria as a stubborn opponent that may stop them in their last qualification match.

According to electronic audience data collected by research firm Gallup, the game broke the previous record for a sporting event set during Iceland's run to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals in France.

"The atmosphere in the group is lovely [and] healthy and we are all enjoying the opportunity that we have".

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