Messi set to marry childhood sweetheart
- Lionel Messi to marry Antonela Roccuzzo
- Childhood sweethearts tie the knot in Rosario
While playing for Newell’s Old Boys as kids, so the story goes, Scaglia and Messi became friends off the pitch.
A young Messi soon began spending an increasing amount of time at the Scaglia family home after laying eyes on his friend’s cousin, Antonela Roccuzzo.
The story comes full circle Friday, more than 20 years later, when Barcelona star Messi — arguably the world’s best player — and Roccuzzo will tie the knot back where they first met in their home town of Rosario.
“Being who he is, he could have been married in the best place in the world, and must have had many offers,” Enrique Domínguez, Messi’s former coach at Newell’s Old Boys, told CNN’s Ivan Sarmenti.
“He must have had offers so that his wedding, the best moment of his life, could take place where others wanted — and yet he chose Rosario.
“And the place where the wedding is taking place is very close where he was born, he lived and grew up.”
Domínguez recalls the painful moment a tearful 12-year-old Messi had to leave Argentina for Spain to undergo treatment for an illness, leaving behind his friends, family, school and Roccuzzo.
Without the financial means to travel between the two countries, it would be a few years until the pair would see each other again.
During his early years in the Barcelona first team, Messi’s relationship with Roccuzzo was kept under wraps, until the pair — who are now parents to four-year-old Thiago and one-year-old Mateo — were widely identified as a couple by the world’s media before the 2010 World Cup.
Home sweet home
Despite spending more than half of his life in Barcelona, Domínguez says he isn’t surprised Messi chose to return home to marry.
“That he chose his city, to choose Rosario to come to marry, to bring his companions of Barcelona and other guests to discover the city that saw him grow … it’s just who Leo is,” Dominguez says.
“A guy with affection, with memory, a grateful guy because being who he is could have been married in the best place in the world.”
Situated almost 300km to the north of Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, Rosario is the third most populous city in the country.
The public will not be allowed access to the hotel where the wedding is to take place, instead watching on big screens in other parts of the city.
Around 250 guests are expected to attend, including Messi’s Barcelona teammates Neymar, Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez. Colombian singer Shakira, who is married to Pique, is also expected to be there.