Lionel Messi has known the love of his life since he was 5 years old. On June 30, 2017, the greatest ever soccer player married in Anontella Roccuzzo in their home city of Rosario, Argentina. Roccuzzo is the first cousin of one of Messi’s best friends, Lucas Scaglia. When Messi left his homeland for Spain at age 13, his love for Roccuzzo never faded. Since January 2009, the couple has been public about their relationship. They have two sons together, Thiago, 4, and Mateo, 1.
Roccuzzo and Messi married inside the Pullman Hotel in Rosario in front of guests including many of Messi’s past-and-present teammates as well music superstar Shakira.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sergio Aguero’s Wife Sang the Song for Their First Dance
Messi and Roccuzzo’s guests were photographed all week coming into Rosario for the nuptials. The Pullman Hotel has 188 rooms in the center of the city. It features a bowling alley, two swimming pools and tennis courts. However the hotel is located close to the neighborhood of La Granada, one of the most dangerous districts in the city.
Among those pictured coming into Argentina are Gerard Pique, Shakira, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Samuel Eto’o and Carlos Puyol. Controversially, Messi’s former coach Luis Enrique was not invited.
That’s not to mention Messi’s Argentina teammate, Sergio Aguero and his singer wife, Karina. She will sing for the couple’s first dance. Another two South American bands, known as Rombai and Marama, will also perform.
Roccuzzo will wear a dress by Rosa Clara, who has previously made dresses for Sofia Vergara and Eva Longoria.
Including the couple’s guests, 150 journalists are booked into cover the party but will not be allowed to talk to attendees. Security is being handled by an Israeli company that has regularly worked with the couple.
2. The Couple’s Relationship Became Romantic When He Comforted Her Following the Death of a Friend in 2007
Roccuzzo and Messi parted ways when he left Argentina for Spain when he was 13. Sport English reports that the pair would have regular dates in their youth along the banks of the Parana river.
In 2007, Messi returned to his homeland when one of Roccuzzo’s close friends was killed in a car accident. While comforting her, it’s thought that the two developed a romantic relationship. It wasn’t until January 2009 when Messi announced the relationship. He told a Barcelona talk show, “Yes, I have a girlfriend. She is in Argentina. The truth is that I am well and I am relaxed.”
The couple are regulars in their home city of Rosario. Their sons were both baptized there. A friend of Messi’s, Diego Vallejos, told the Daily Mail, “It’s not surprise that he is coming back here to get married. He is an ordinary person who just wants to be near his family and friends. He is a humble person. Money has not changed his personality… They are the loves of each others lives.”
3. Roccuzzo, Who Shies Away From the Spotlight, Is Known to Be Close to Cesc Fabregas’ Wife, Daniella Semaan
Roccuzzo is not a typical soccer player’s wife and stays away from the spotlight. She’s known to be close to most of the other wives of Barcelona players. Specifically, Cesc Fabregas’ wife, Daniella Semaan, 42. According to Snapchat videos (above), the pair are still close despite Fabregas’ move to London to play for Chelsea.
In her college days, Roccuzzo was a dentistry student at the National University of Rosario. She did not finish her studies. From there, Roccuzzo went on to graduate with a qualification in social communication.
For her personal interests, posts on Roccuzzo’s Instagram page appear to show her interests lie with Disney movies, Harry Potter books and the family’s dogs. Roccuzzo makes it clear on that page that she is not on Twitter and not on Facebook.
Sport English reports that Roccuzzo is the daughter of an owner of a supermarket chain in Argentina.
4. In 2016, Roccuzzo Began Her Career as an Entrepreneur By Opening a Shoe Store in Barcelona
In December 2016, Roccuzzo partnered with Sofia Balbi, wife of Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, in opening a shoe store in Barcelona. Spanish tabloid Hola reported that the pair are partnered with Argentine shoe designer Ricky Sarkany in the project.
Sarkany told Hola about the venture saying, “Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine such a thing. It was an initiative with them that filled me with pride.” Sakany added that they will develop a shoe brand in Barcelona.
Roccuzzo is also signed on to be a model in the project. Sarkany told La Vanguardia around the time of the store’s opening that Roccuzzo “would never be a Victoria Beckham.” He added:
[Messi and Roccuzzo] are incredibly wonderful people, good, generous people … Messi donates a lot of money to foundations, to charitable causes and that does not have the same repercussion as, say, if you have a car accident.
Look, Antonella drives, takes her kids to school … how many lower level players but with money do not have a bodyguard or chauffeur for that? I marvel that they keep, with what they are, those values and feet on the ground.
5. One of Messi’ Former Girlfriends Says His Mother Threatened Her With a Frying Pan
Prior to hooking up with Roccuzzo, Messi dated Argentine model Macarena Lemos. In October 2011, Lemos told a TV talk show in Argentina that Messi’s mother had threatened her with a frying pan. Lemos is also a native of Rosario.
At the time, Messi was 18 and Lemos was just 14. Lemos explained, via Goal.com:
She was following me and taking photos until I turned around and asked her what was going on. That’s when she started insulting me. What was she doing there in the electronics section, with a frying pan in her hand? She was following me with a telephone and a frying pan.
Though Lemos added that her pursuit of the world’s greatest player may not be over. “That’s unfinished business for me,” she said.
The frying pan antics will not surprise Messi’s most ardent fans. The attacker is known to be extremely close to his mother, Celia. Messi even has her face tattooed on his left shoulder.