LIONEL MESSI'S relatives watched Argentina's Copa America final win over Brazil in separate rooms as a result of a bizarre family ritual.
Messi's mother Celia María Cuccittini revealed details of the unique superstition after her son won his first ever international trophy on Saturday night.
Celia is very religious and admitted she was wracked with nerves before the 1-0 win over Brazil at the Maracana.
The normally media-shy mum of four told Argentine TV show 'Nosotros a la Mañana': "I feel very bad.
"With all my saints around, I do a ritual.
"We were all bad, very nervous.
"It was all, really hard. But I had faith in God that he was going to grant me this miracle."
Celia was praying throughout the match and it seems to have worked with Angel Di Maria scoring the only goal of the game after 22 minutes.
Messi's brothers – Rodrigo and Matias – as well as his father and agent Jorge all watched the game in separate rooms of their house on different screens so as not to go against the family ritual.
And his wife Antonella – who Messi had an emotional reunion with after the game – also watched it separately from her husband's family.
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She saw the game at her parents' home instead.
Celia did reveal the family reconvened after the match and said: "After the game ends, the hugs come."
Messi video-called his family from the pitch after the win and Celia said the family spoke with the Barcelona star 'a lot' on the day of the final.
Argentine captain Messi was hailed after the game for stopping his team-mates singing an anti-Brazil song during the celebrations.
And he dedicated the win to 'eternal' Diego Maradona in an emotional open letter.
Messi is said to have played the whole final with an injury.
And he gained more plaudits after the match when he was seen comforting former Barcelona team-mate Neymar who was crying after Brazil's defeat.
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