True love! Lionel Messi has known his wife, Antonela Roccuzzo, since they were children.
“The truth is that [I admire] everything [about Antonela],” the soccer star gushed to Marca in an October 2019 interview. “She has many good qualities: how she gets by on a daily basis; her personality; she is always in a good mood; and she always faces up to problems in an admirable way. She is a very intelligent person who is great in all aspects of life.”
Messi first met Roccuzzo when he was 5 years old in their native Argentina. Despite a sweet friendship, the professional athlete left home at age 13 to pursue his soccer training in Spain. They eventually reconnected in 2005 after Messi found out that the model’s best friend had died in a fatal car accident. The Paris Saint-Germain F.C. athlete flew back to his hometown to comfort Roccuzzo, nearly four years before they publicly confirmed their romance.
Messi proposed in 2010, two years before welcoming son Thiago. The couple — who also share sons Mateo, born in 2015, and Ciro, born in 2018 — wed in July 2017 in their hometown of Rosario, Argentina.
“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,” Messi’s former coach Enrique Domínguez told CNN at the time. “A guy with affection, with memory, a grateful guy because being who he is, he could have been married in the best place in the world.”
The married couple have continued to grow in love while raising their brood, who love cheering on Messi’s athletic matches.
“You grow and you learn. You gather experience in all aspects of life, on and off the field,” the Ballon d’Or winner told Marca in 2019 of fatherhood. “But, as a human being, having three children changed my perspective on life, my way of thinking and it also helped me grow.”
He added at the time: “Even though there are few moments of respite at home with three kids, [Antonela and I] try to enjoy every second with them, whether it is watching the TV, playing or whatever. We like to stay at home and enjoy these moments.”
Roccuzzo and the pair’s sons dutifully watched Messi compete with Argentina’s national team in the 2022 World Cup championship, which they won that December.
“I CANT EXPLAIN IT BECAUSE YOU WONT UNDERSTAND!!!!. 🇦🇷🇦🇷🇦🇷🇦🇷🇦🇷🇦🇷 🇦🇷🇦🇷🇦🇷🇦🇷🇷🇦🇷🇦🇷🇦🇷🇦🇷 LET’S GO ARGENTINA!!! LETS GO @leomessi !!!!!,” the social media influencer captioned a stadium pic with Thiago, Mateo and Ciro before the final match, in which they all wore jerseys with Messi’s number.
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Scroll below for Messi and Roccuzzo’s complete relationship timeline: