While the exploits of Lionel Messi on the pitch project him as a superhuman, he is pretty much like any other man off the pitch.
He also has his roots in his native city Rosario, has loyal friends from his childhood, a club he can call home back there, and above all has a life companion that knew and loved him even before he was famous.
This is the true definition of “relationship goals”!
The spouse in question is, of course, Antonela Roccuzzo, his wife and mother of his three sons.
So let us delve deep into this romantic story of how two childhood friends became partners, know more about Antonela and her several ventures, and how they are doing right now.
The story of Messi and Antonela started in their hometown of Rosario. Like any youngster, Messi had friends who played with him. One of them was Lucas Scaglia.
And the cousin of Lucas Scaglia was Antonela Roccuzzo. Lionel Messi, known to the world as a shy introvert, had a crush on Antonela, regularly visiting the house of Scaglia just to get a glimpse of her.
Unfortunately, nothing could come of this story back in 1996. The reason was that Messi had to move to Spain early.
The much-publicized reason was of course his growth treatment. The Argentine was suffering from a hormone deficiency since his boyhood days.
And while Newell Old Boys paid for his treatment for some time, it was tough for them to sponsor the whole thing.
So Barca came calling and Messi had to move to Spain leaving his crush and his favorite club behind.
Of course, that is not the finished article as you may know!
The Love Story
One of the most beautiful things in the world is when your childhood friend becomes a permanent part of your life. The Messi and Antonela relationship followed the same wavelength when they got together in 2007.
After their association as childhood friends, their renewed connection came on the death of Antonela’s friend.
According to Infobae, the Argentine forward was deeply shocked to hear about a traffic accident involving a mutual friend and returned to Argentina to accompany Antonela.
From there on, they rekindled their friendship. Messi continued his playing career at Barcelona whereas Antonela was completing her studies.
Initially, Antonela was in a relationship with someone else when Leo was on course to become the best player in the world. That relationship went on for around three years. However, it didn’t come to any fruition and if it did we won’t have been writing this!
From there on, Antonela and Messi had only one way to go. Both Messi and Antonella were 21-years old when their relationship became known to the world. In an interview in 2009 to Catalan TV, Messi was asked about his relationship status. Messi stated that he has a girlfriend.
By the 2010 World Cup, both confirmed their status and were dating each other publicly. After the World Cup, Antonela was seen in several Barcelona games supporting her boyfriend.
Initially, Antonela studied to be a dentist for around one year. But that wasn’t her calling.
Then she took up a degree of social communication and also retained some interest in nutrition. After her relationship with Leo, she moved in with him to Spain.
Of course, since then they have decided to have a family. And besides raising their kids, she has started a footwear brand with the wife of ex-Barca striker Luis Suarez.
And while that venture failed and gave Antonela a considerable financial blow, she is still set to have a net worth of around $20 Million.
The wife of Suarez, Sofia Balbi, and the wife of Cesc Fabregas, Daniella Semaan are the two best friends of Antonella in Spain.
She also dabbled in modeling for a bit and continues to do that on and off posing for brands like Adidas. A few roles in a few movies have also kept her busy.
Antonella also has a vibrant social media presence with over 13 Million Instagram followers interested in her day-to-day activities.
She is a fitness freak and regularly shares snaps of herself working out.
The wedding of Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo was classified as the “wedding of the century” by the Argentine media. Their wedding was hosted by the city of Rosario in a luxury hotel.
Messi was very well received by the people in Rosario. Before he signed his first professional contract at FC Barcelona, he was well-known for his talent at Newell’s Old Boys, which is near Rosario. Therefore, many people from this location went to see him play in the youth team.
It is no coincidence that the Rosario residents were eagerly waiting to give their star a well-deserved tribute on his big day.
Many famous personalities, mainly Messi’s Barcelona teammates such as Gerard Pique, Neymar, Suarez, Xavi were all part of the Argentine’s wedding ceremony.
Apart from the Barcelona players, there were Messi’s Argentina teammates such as Sergio Aguero. Many of Antonela’s relatives came to the city via private jets.
Messi’s former coaches, Pep Guardiola and Diego Maradona were not invited to the ceremony.
Antonela wore a dress of Rosa Clara, a designer associated with FC Barcelona who has also designed dresses of Spanish Queen Letizia.
The wedding ceremony comprised “sushi station”, a sushi bar that gives adequate meals for different events and functions across South American countries.
Apart from this sushi bar, the ceremony also had empanadas i.e. traditional Argentine pasta, blood sausage, and sweetbreads.
Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo have had quite a fulfilling romantic life. They are at present parents of three kids i.e. Thiago, Matteo, and Cirro.
In June 2012, Lionel Messi scored a goal against Ecuador. After the goal, Messi put the ball under his shirt to confirm the news of Antonela being pregnant with their first child, whom they named Thiago Messi.
In April 2015, the Argentine informed everybody on Facebook that they were expecting a second child, whom they named Matteo Messi.
And Matteo is perhaps the most interesting of the lot. He often calls his father “Leo Messi” like the fans and when he plays FIFA with his dad he chooses Liverpool reminding Messi of the time they beat his team Barcelona.
This is why Leo calls the little guy “a bastard” as a term of endearment of course.
And in 2018, Antonela Roccuzzo confirmed she was pregnant again by posting a caption of “Family of 5” on her Facebook account.
All of their children are seen in many of the Barcelona games at Camp Nou. In the 2019 Ballon d’Or presentation ceremony held at the Camp Nou, his eldest son, Thiago, presented the golden ball to Lionel Messi, which was his sixth overall.
Messi has stated many times that all of their kids have got great passion for the sport and he wishes for them to continue the legacy that their father has created in football. However, he also states that he is willing to support them in any decision they take as long as it is for their betterment.
With the parents of three, and a great professional life up at stake, it seems that the relationship of Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo is destined to be a great love story.
Criticism for Living in Spain
Lionel Messi and Antonela have been continuously criticized for their allegiance with Spain that continues to this date.
After his marriage, they feel that marrying an Argentine girl should allow him to make his mind up about his future in Argentina.
However, some have stated that Messi is what he is because of Spain and Barcelona. Therefore, just like Diego Costa did by committing his nationality to Spain despite being a Brazilian, Messi should do the same and commit himself to Spain.
However, he issued a statement to clarify all the rumors where he stated that he is liking the Argentine culture that was presented in Barcelona. He says that despite growing in a Catalan environment, he still has an Argentine accent.
Many people have questioned his feelings for Argentina when the team isn’t doing well. However, he remains adamant to return to the country where his parents and grandparents currently live in. They keep in touch with Messi and Antonela.
That may be the future of the couple as well since Messi may choose to end his career at the Newell Old Boys.
While the association of Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo is now more than two decades old, there have been a few road bumps along the way.
And in early 2018, there were reports of tension between the couple. But Antonela ended such rumors by attending a World Cup game to support her husband.
Since then, by all accounts, it has been a smooth sail for the couple and we wish them the same happiness and prosperity they have shared throughout their life together.
And so while his club future remains unclear, his love life remains amicable and peaceful. Now obviously, that doesn’t include the unavoidable chaos three little kids create in their home!