June 24, 1987 is a historical day for the football fans, as on that day the Argentine professional footballer Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini was born. He is often regarded by many as the current best player in the world, while some think he is the greatest player of all time.
Having played majority of his career for the Spanish giants Barcelona, Messi has led the club to 32 trophies, which included nine La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League trophies and six Copa del Rey trophies.
On a personal level, he is the all-time top scorer of La Liga and has broken and created many records. At present he has won four European Golden Shoes and five Ballon d’Or awards, among which he had won four in consecutive years.
Lionel Messi Family and Childhood
Messi was born in Rosario, a city in Argentina, and he was the third child among the four children his parents have. Jorge Messi, father of Lionel Messi, worked as a manager of a steel factory. While Messi’s mother, Celia Cuccittini, worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop.
Messi is of Italian and Spanish descent from his father’s side. He is the great-grandson of the immigrants who came to Argentina from the north-central Adriatic Marche region of Italy and Catalonia. Messi primarily has Italian ancestry inherited from his mother’s side.
Messi’s family was a football-loving family and Messi started playing football from a very tender age with his brothers, Rodrigo and Matias, and his cousins, Maximiliano and Emanuel Biancucchi. Both his cousins also became professional football players. Messi also has a younger sister named Maria Sol.
Leo Messi joined Rosario’s local club, Abanderado Grandoli, at the age of four years and he started training under his own father. Jorge later started working as his son’s agent when Messi turned fourteen years old.
Although Messi has been surrounded by football interests right after his birth, however his greatest inspiration and earliest influence for joining this sport came from his maternal grandmother Celia.
She used to accompany Messi to his training and also attended all the matches in which Messi played. Celia passed away shortly before Messi’s eleventh birthday, and her death affected Messi to a great extent.
From that day onwards, being a devout Catholic, Messi celebrated his goals by looking up and pointing towards the sky in tribute to his late grandmother.
Although Messi now lives in Barcelona, he has not severed ties with his hometown. He has left for Spain at just 13 years age, but he has still preserved his Rosarino accent.
He has close ties with his family members too, especially with his mother Celia, so much so that he has tattooed the face of his mother on his left shoulder.
He has close relation with his brothers too. Rodrigo, his oldest brother, handles Messi’s daily schedule and publicity. While the younger brother, Matias, along with their mother handles the Leo Messi Foundation, a charitable organisation in the name of Messi which takes care of the healthcare of many deprived children.
Messi’s relation with his family is so close that once he made a three-hour car trip from Buenos Aires, where he was practising with the national team, just to have dinner with his family. He also spent the entire night with them and returned the next day to Buenos Aires in time for the practise session.
Messi has also kept contact with some of his childhood teammates at the Newell’s Old Boys, his childhood team. Messi has deep connection with his childhood club and wishes to end his playing career returning to Newell’s.
Although there was a feud between Newell’s and Barcelona regarding Messi’s transfer, but that was resolved by 2012 and the club has embraced their ties with Messi. The club has also issued a membership card for Messi’s newborn son.
Lionel Messi with his Parents
Lionel Messi with his Brothers
Lionel Messi’s Grand Parents
Lionel Messi with his Nephews
Lionel Messi Wife & Sons
Messi had been in relationship with a fellow native of Rosario, named Antonella Roccuzzo, since 2008 when he was 20 years old. Messi had known Antonella since the age of five as she was the cousin of Messi’s childhood best friend Lucas Scaglia, who also happens to be a professional football player.
The couple kept their relationship private for almost a year, and later went public in 2009 during a carnival in Sitges after the Barcelona-Espanyol derby.
Antonella was born on February 26, 1988 to parents Jose Roccuzzo and Patricia Blanko. Her father was a businessman by profession and her mother was a homemaker.
After Antonella finished her schooling from a local school at Rosario, she went on to study odontology as she wanted to become a dentist. But later she changed her mind and started focusing her career in modelling.
She had previously worked as a model for various products and presently she is going to open a footwear production along with Sofia Balbi, who is the wife of Messi’s Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez.
After dating for almost nine years, Messi and Antonella finally decided to tie the knot on June 30, 2017 in their hometown Rosario. The wedding took place in a nearby chapel and the reception party was hosted in The City Centre casino-hotel complex.
Around 250 guests attended the wedding which included the likes of Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Carlos Puyol, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and Samuel Eto’o along with their wives, and many more.
Lionel Messi and Antonella Roccuzzo in their Wedding Reception
The guests were handed a gift box which contained a bottle of L10 wine, Messi’s own brand, along with a small jar of dulce de leche caramel sauce. The box also had a card which read, ‘Welcome. Thank you for sharing with us this special moment. Leo and Anto.’
The guests were treated with a delicious food menu which included steak, salad, sushi and pasta. All the guests were told not to bring any gifts for the couple. Rather they were requested to contribute a small donation in favour of the Leo Messi Foundation.
Messi’s Barcelona teammate Gerrard Pique’s wife Shakira, a renowned pop star, performed at the beginning of the ceremony. The Argentinian singer Abel Pintos, who was arranged by Messi to surprise his wife, ended the reception ceremony by singing Antonella’s favourite song ‘Sin Principio ni final’ (Without Beginning or End).
Lionel Messi celebrating Copa Del Rey cup with his family
Lionel Messi with his son Thiago Messi
Lionel Messi with his sons
Lionel Messi with his son Thiago Messi
Lionel Messi playing with his son in beach
Messi and Antonella are proud parents of three sons− Thiago (born 2012), Mateo (born 2015) and Ciro (born 2018).
Messi celebrated his wife’s first pregnancy by pacing the ball under his shirt in a 4-0 win for Argentina against Ecuador on June 2 2012, and missed training on November 2, 2012 when Thiago was born.
Messi announced his son’s birth by writing on Facebook, “Today I am the happiest man in the world, my son was born and thanks to God for this gift!” Messi has tattooed Thiago’s name and handprints on his left calf.
Messi confirmed the arrival of his second son through Facebook in April 2015 and skipped training ahead of Atlético Madrid match to attend the birth of Mateo on September 11, 2015.
On October 15, 2017 Messi made an Instagram post with the words “Family of 5” announcing the arrival of their third son. He skipped the match against Málaga on 10 March 2018 after his third son Ciro was born.