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Maradona light years behind Messi, says Ramos

21 June 2018

Lionel Messi's mother, Celia Cuccittini, said he has "suffered and cried" over criticism about his play in an interview with an Argentine television station.

The latter has also tasted global success at Euro 2016 with Portugal, but the former is back chasing down a World Cup crown on Russian soil this summer after enduring a number of near misses with Argentina in the past.

"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. I see a lot of "Messi's friends" but not many "teammates".

"His dream is to win the World Cup, it's one of his most desired goals".

Despite the criticism and the pressure, Cuccittini told "Diario de Mariana" that Messi seems relaxed, calm, and confident.

"From here all his family are supporting him".

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Maradona told Argentine TV station Telesur that although Real Madrid and Spain defender Ramos got more attention than Diego Godin, the Uruguay worldwide was the better player.

With Argentina looking dysfunctional and under-performing throughout the qualifiers, Messi's dream of matching Maradona in Russian Federation always looked a tall order. More recently, the Argentines lost in the last two Copa America finals, in 2015 and 2016.

"People want to put Leo up against Cristiano and of course they both need each other to make themselves better, but we are talking about different teams, different groups, different moments".

A few hours after his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo announced his arrival at Russian Federation 2018 with a stunning hat-trick against Spain, Messi knew he dare not miss as he was presented with a penalty that would have nearly certainly secure his side a victory. "I see a group of players which clearly don't work well together". They would have opened a little more and we could have found more spaces. We are convinced that we came here for something.

Croatia is leading Group D after beating Nigeria 2-0. I still think we can improve in all aspects, added the Real Madrid captain.

Maradona light years behind Messi, says Ramos