Lionel Messi almost single-handedly carried Argentina into the knockout stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, scoring four of his team’s six goals in group play. His goal-scoring ability was not enough to satisfy everyone, however.
The striker’s grandfather, Antonio Cuccitini, was not pleased with Messi’s performance in the first three games of the tournament. Despite Messi scoring the majority of Argentina’s goals, including the game-winner in stoppage time against Iran, Cuccitini said his grandson could step up his performance.
“I think he’s been pretty poor,” Cuccitini said, via AS.com. “In Spain, he’s got more zip, he goes ’round 22 players. He needs to get his spark back.”
Messi was “man of the match” in all three of Argentina’s World Cup group-play games, but Cuccitini does bring up a valid point. There have been times when Argentina — including Messi — has looked sloppy. All of Argentina’s Group F games were decided by one goal, with the contest against Iran nearly ending in a scoreless draw.
Part of the problem, according to Cuccitini, is that Messi isn’t giving his full effort.
“Right now Leo isn’t running, I’m not convinced by him,” Cuccitini said. “I’m truthful and I don’t have time for hot air.”
Cuccitini did say his grandson can’t do everything, though, and that Messi should keep his spirits high.
“You can’t demand everything,” Cuccitini said. “He’s not God, who can do it all. … Keep your chin up, you’ll do great, I love you lots.”
Photo via Twitter/@Teamtalk