Some of the most touching moments in Argentina's stunning win over France in the World Cup final were captured during the celebrations. As Lionel Messi was busy celebrating, the Argentine captain was seen mobbed on the field by his ecstatic mother who jumped from the stands to enter the field to join in the celebrations.
The striker had finally won the one prize that had eluded him throughout his career. Celia Maria Cuccittini was caught on camera racing over to her son while holding back tears while wearing an Argentina shirt. Argentina and France tied 3-3 after extra time before Argentina won 4-2 on penalties. Messi scored twice throughout the game and once more from the penalty spot.
Amid the emotional scenes, Cuccittini was seen rushing toward her son to hug and congratulate him for the historic win. She approached Messi when he was turning away, and the moment was captured on camera when she caught him off guard when he realized she was a World Cup winner for the first time.
However, it wasn't only Cuccittini who was part of the celebrations. Messi's children were soon seen on the field in the brief interval between the game's ending and the trophy's lift. Messi has three sons -- Thiago, Mateo, and Ciro --- with his childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo.
Like his teammates, Messi drew constant support from his wife Roccuzzo, who would be present in the stands with other Argentine WAGs to support their husbands, who finally gifted them the biggest smile of their lives.
The emotional scenes played out in the aftermath of the most dramatic World Cup final ever. The World Cup is the one significant trophy that Messi and his family felt was missing from his extraordinary career.
It has now, in the opinion of many, put an end to the argument over whether Messi is the greatest soccer player who has ever lived, placing him ahead of Pele, Diego Maradona, and contemporary opponent Cristiano Ronaldo.
Argentina took the lead in the first half thanks to a Messi penalty and a spectacular sweeping pass from Angel di Maria, who increased the lead. Argentina were poised to stroll to victory for the majority of the second half, but a Mbappe penalty in the 80th minute spurred France back into action.
Then, a minute later, Mbappe tied the score with a breath-taking shot of his own to force extra time and it appeared as though Messi and Argentina had lost all momentum.
However, in the 108th minute, Messi had another opportunity to score, this time from close range. Once again, it appeared as though Argentina were moments away from lifting the World Cup, but France fought back.
However, that was not to be as Mbappe struck from the penalty spot once more after a handball to take the game to penalties.
Messi and Mbappe each converted a penalty, but Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Collin both missed for France as Argentina won 4-2 from the spot.
Mbappe, Messi's Paris Saint-Germain teammate, scored a hat-trick for France but was still a member of the losing squad.
Teras of joy were seen in the eyes of Messi's wife also at the end of the final. Messi first met his wife Antonella in La Rosario, Argentina, when he was just five years old. She is the cousin of one of his childhood friends.
When he was barely 13 years old, Messi left his own country to enroll in Barcelona's esteemed La Masia youth program, where he developed the talents that have made him a legend.
Messi and Antonella married in 2017 in their hometown about 200 kilometers from Buenos Aires.
We don't yet know what will happen to Messi and his family after this. Next summer, he has been heavily connected with a move to the United States, with David Beckham's Inter Miami eager to sign him and play in Major League Soccer.