Lionel “Leo” Messi, the 30-year-old Argentine considered to be one of the best football players in the world, married his 29-year-old childhood sweetheart, Antonella Roccuzzo, on Friday in their hometown of Rosario, Argentina.
As Messi is the third-highest-paid athlete in the world, bringing in $80 million (£62 million) in salary and endorsements, the event certainly didn’t disappoint.
Messi, born 24 June 1987, is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Often considered the best player in the world and regarded by many as the greatest of all time, Messi is the only player in history to win five FIFA Ballon d’Or awards, four of which he won consecutively, and a record-tying four European Golden Shoes.
He has won 30 trophies with Barcelona, including eight La Liga titles, four UEFA Champion League titles, and five Copas del Rey. Both a prolific goal scorer and a creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most official goals scored in La Liga (349), a La season (50) and a club football season in Europe (73), as well as those for most assists made in La Liga (137) and the Copa America (11). He has scored over 500 senior career goals for club and country.
Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. At age 13, he relocated to Spain to join Barcelona, who agreed to pay for his medical treatment. After a fast progression through Barcelona’s youth academy, Messi made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004.
Despite being injury-prone during his early career, he established himself as an integral player for the club within the next three years, finishing 2007 as a finalist for both the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award, a feat he repeated the following year. His first uninterrupted campaign came in the 2008–09 season, during which he helped Barcelona achieve the first treble in Spanish football. At 22 years old, Messi won the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award by record voting margins.