Samuel Etoo among celebrities expected to attend Messi’s celebrity wedding
Samuel Eto’o, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Carles Puyol, Cesc Fabregas and Xavi are among some of the current and former Barcelona team-mates who have touched down in Argentina ahead of the highly-anticipated wedding of Lionel Messi to Antonella Roccuzzo today.
Messi has invited the entire Barcelona squad to the ceremony in Rosario.
Sergio Aguero’s wife, Karina, will perform the song for the first dance at the ceremony.
Messi has also requested that chefs cook local delicacies such as ‘locro’ stew and ’empanada’ pasties for the feast.
The dish is a typical Argentine beef roast including chitterlings, gizzards and kidneys.
Messi’s choice of venue has caused some surprise locally, as while the hotel is flashy it is right next to a tough neighbourhood called Las Flores, in which the Los Monos drug gang has a strong presence.
A shooting on June 17 just 400 yards from City Center targeted four women and killed Petrona Cantero, the sister of jailed Los Monos boss Ariel Cantero.
Messi and his childhood sweetheart will finally tie the knot on a relationship which spans back to when they were just five years old.
The pair met growing up in Rosario, Argentina, but kept in touch after Messi moved to Spain at the age of 13.
And now they have now returned to their hometown for the grand event on Friday.
Messi and Roccuzzo, who have two children, Thiago and Mateo, will host the wedding at City Center Rosario in Santa Fe where he grew up and played for his first football club, Newell’s Old Boys.
Clearly a long time coming, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has spared no expense to make sure the occasion is as grand and spectacular as it should be, hiring out the impressive City Center Rosario complex.
Guests of the wedding will have the chance to play in the on-site casino while most will also stay in the five-star, 188-room Pullman Hotel inside the complex where rates start from almost £100 a night.
There is also a fully functioning bowling alley, grass tennis courts, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool as well as a number of bars and restaurants.