Lionel Messi’s mother defends son over heavy criticism | FIFA World Cup™ Live

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The FIFA World Cup™ Live crew discuss Lionel Messi’s mother’s response to criticism over his performance.

HOST: Yesterday Messi's mom gave an interview. Here's what she had to say. She said, "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. We suffer from all the criticism that Leo receives 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."

Poor Messi, aye?

- Oh.

- Oh. Of course it hurts as a mother. That's a normal reaction. It's a normal reaction. But one thing I think these players don't want is redemption or compassion. They are professionals. I think you have to look more in the way he's playing with the Argentinian team and in Barcelona where his stardom big.

ALEXI LALAS: It's interesting to hear players and coaches and everyone surrounding that team be very defensive and jump to his defense. And it's nothing new, because of all the attention that he gets. But keep in mind that this is a player that from a young age has been living and playing in a wonderful cocoon, especially when it comes to Barcelona. He has been given everything. He has been asked to obviously score goals. He's not asked to defend.

But it is a little opposite apples and oranges as Gus says when it comes to what happens with Barcelona, and what happens with Argentina. Barcelona is not playing this tournament, and Sampaoli right now is panicking, as every Argentinian coach has done, because he's got to try to fit Messi in, and he doesn't have a way yet. He's got to figure it out right now.

But this whole, woe is me type of thing from Messi, I don't think it plays well for him. I don't think it plays well for the team, and I don't think it's going to garner a lot of sympathy. Ultimately Messi is there to score goals. Cristiano Ronaldo? He is scoring goals. Whether he's playing well or not, that's a different debate, but he is scoring goals. It's time for Messi to step up and score goals for this team.