Lionel Messi’s mum admits she was surprised the Barcelona and Argentina star won the Ballon d’Or.
Messi won the award for a sixth time earlier this week, pipping Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.
During an interview for the programme ‘El Espectador’, broadcast by CNN Radio , Messi’s mother Celia Cuccittini spoke about her son’s latest achievement.
When speaking about Messi’s record-breaking sixth Ballon d’Or Cuccittini said: “I am very happy. We were not expecting this.
“We thought the fifth had been the last. Honestly, this was a beautiful surprise. He (Messi) did not expect it either.
“I do not know if he found out minutes before, I do not know, but we did not know anything.”
The loving mother then went on to speak about the criticism the Barcelona forward receives saying: “It hurts a lot because you can criticise without mocking.
“There are some people that can be insulting. As a mother, that obviously hurts me. He does not have to be liked by the whole world.”
Cuccittini went on to talk about the “debt” Messi has with Argentina, having not won a major international title with the full national team saying: “All of the family knows he has a debt with Argentina but nobody wants to win a World Cup or a Copa America more than him.
“People can think he played bad. We actually do the same, we tell him. You have no idea! I give him a hard time!”
When asked about Messi’s retirement Cuccittini said: “It is always something emotional. His career does not stop surprising us every day.
“What he can do and also how he is as a person, which is the main thing. He stands out for being such a good person and a great father.”
Messi recently scored a stunning a goal in the 86th minute in Barcelona’s 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid taking his side top of La Liga.
He has made 14 appearances and scored 11 goals, nine in La Liga and two in Champions League so far this season.