Lionel Messi said “I do” to childhood sweetheart and mother of their two children Antonella Roccuzzo on Friday in his Argentine hometown Rosario, where footballers and celebrities gathered for the “wedding of the century.”
Following the private ceremony, the couple appeared happy and relaxed as they walked a red carpet before hundreds of journalists at a hotel and casino complex, Roccuzzo donning a tight, mermaid-style gown by Spanish designer Rosa Clara.
The couple’s children Thiago, four, and Mateo, one, had front seats at the ceremony attended by some 260 guests, including Shakira and her husband, Messi’s teammate Gerard Pique, and numerous footballers such as Messi’s Barcelona strike partners Neymar and Luis Suarez.
The party was to be a respite for Messi from his legal woes. A Spanish court last month rejected his appeal against a tax fraud conviction.
Brunette bride Roccuzzo wore a white, curve-hugging dress with a deep sweetheart neckline and embroidered straps by Rosa Clara a Spanish designer who has dressed actress Eva Longoria and Spain’s Queen Letizia.
Argentine media called it the “wedding of the century” for Rosario, the gritty northern port city where Messi, 30, and his bride, 29, met when the player was nine years old.
Former Barca and current Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas was in attendance, along with Argentina and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.
The couple have reportedly spent the past two weeks in Rosario with family, but have kept out of sight of the reporters who have invaded the city.
Rumors circulated of bachelor and bachelorette parties, but the only evidence that emerged was a photo, posted by ex-Barca goalkeeper Jose Pinto, of Messi enjoying a barbecue with a few friends.
Some friends of Roccuzzo have shared pictures of her relaxing with relatives.