The Truth About Lionel Messi's Wife, Antonela Roccuzzo

Perhaps you're not a football (or soccer, if you're in the United States) fan, but you may still be familiar with Lionel Messi and his left foot. The Paris Saint-Germain forward is arguably the greatest player in the world, though he has competed for decades with his rival, Manchester United striker, Cristiano Ronaldo. In 2022, Four Four Two Magazine named Messi the best player of the 21st century, citing his overall career stats, including 761 total goals (second only to Ronaldo) and his 22 major trophies including seven Ballons d'Or, an award presented to the best men's player "according to on-field performance and overall behavior on and off the pitch," per Bleacher Report. Safe to say, Messi has never had any problem finding the back of the net.

The Argentine superstar has remained relatively quiet about his personal life, preferring to let his feet do the talking on the pitch. In 2015, he opened up to Four Four Two Magazine (via Sport) about his daily routine, which includes "spending time with my family and the people closest to me." Per Biography, Messi shares children Thiago, Mateo, and Ciro with his wife Antonela Roccuzzo. Roccuzzo crops up frequently on Messi's Instagram, such as when he wished her a happy birthday in February. Judging by the number of Messi's posts with his boys and Roccuzzo, it's clear he adores his family. But what do we really know about his wife?

Antonela Roccuzzo is a model and fitness enthusiast

Though Antonela Roccuzzo was thrust into the spotlight early on thanks to her relationship with Lionel Messi, she is also a model and fitness enthusiast in her own right. Per Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Roccuzzo originally went to school for dentistry before signing a contract with Argentine modeling agency Ricky Sarkany. A quick browse of her Instagram profile reveals that she's a fan of staying in shape in fact, The US Sun reported that one of her go-to activities is boxing. To date, Roccuzzo has partnered with top brands like Adidas by Stella McCartney and Alo Yoga. With 20 million Instagram followers to her name (and counting), it looks like her career has taken off.

Like Messi, Roccuzzo hails from Rosario, Argentina, and it's where she and the football player first met as children, according to The US Sun. The outlet reports that they went public with their relationship in 2008, and tied the knot over a decade later, in what Argentina's Clarín newspaper called "the wedding of the century," via the BBC. The star-studded event featured 260 guests, including Messi's superstar teammates on the team, Luis Suárez, Neymar, and Gerard Piqué, as well as Piqué's then-wife, Shakira. Many were touched that Messi, whose fame could afford him any venue in the world, chose to marry Roccuzzo in their hometown. While their wedding made headlines, it's the story of how they met that's less well-known.

Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo were childhood sweethearts

CNN paints a picture of Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo as childhood sweethearts, growing up together in Rosario, Argentina. The pair first met through Roccuzzo's cousin, Lucas Scaglia, who played on the same football team as Messi when they were young boys. But after becoming so close, Messi and Roccuzzo were separated when his family left Argentina and relocated to Spain so that he could pursue a soccer career. "Imagine moving with your family to a new continent at age 13 with everyone's future riding on you," Messi told Sports Illustrated in 2017, speaking on the pivotal move. "On the one hand, it was spectacular to come play at Barcelona. On the other, leaving everything behind in Rosario was tough: my friends, the rest of my family, my childhood, arriving in a country where I had nothing."

Roccuzzo and Messi kept in touch during their separation, although Rocuzzo was dating someone else during this time, according to Newsweek. When one of her friends died in a car accident in 2007, Messi flew home to be with her. The pair began dating, went public with their relationship and by 2012 Roccuzzo had moved to Barcelona to be with Messi. Today, the couple seems happier than ever. Along with the current snaps on Instagram, Roccuzzo and Messi often post throwbacks celebrating their epic love story. "Every day I love you more," Roccuzzo wrote underneath a picture of them as teenagers in 2021.