Lionel Messi is not a normal human being. Obviously, fans realize this every time he sets foot on a soccer pitch. But for those who maybe don’t like sports too much, you’ll know he’s not the average person judging from the reported extravagance of his wedding to longtime girlfriend and mother of his two children, Antonella Roccuzzo.
Far from the run-of-the-mill nuptials, this fete, slated to happen Friday night in Messi’s hometown of Rosario, Argentina, is a major production, from the star-studded guest list to the menu. Argentine television news stations are even airing round-the-clock coverage.
Where is this happening?
Both the ceremony, which is slated for 6 p.m. ET, and the reception will take place in Rosario’s City Center Complex, which houses a luxury hotel and casino. The decorations in one part of the complex certainly have a soccer slant.
Among the reported 260 guests are all of Messi’s Barcelona teammates, as well as other famed current and former players from around the world. Many of those guests began arriving earlier this week, including Carles Puyol, Luis Suárez, Samuel Eto’o, Cesc Fábregas, Jordi Alba, Xavi Hernández and Sergio Busquets.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique arrived Friday, along with Shakira, his longtime girlfriend and the mother of his two children. Shakira is reportedly going to perform at the wedding.
Expected to arrive is Messi’s Barcelona buddy Neymar, although he has yet to be spotted.
Also hanging around will reportedly be about 150 journalists, whom the couple invited to document their nuptials, according to Spain’s Sport. While they’ll be able to take photographs and write articles, they’ve been forbidden from talking to the guests, who’ll be protected by more than 200 security guards.
Fans also won’t be able to crash the wedding, but they will be able to watch it as it happens and catch a glimpse of Roccuzzo’s custom-designed Rosa Clara dress on a big screen to be erected outside the venue, AS.com reports.
What will the party be like?
The festivities are expected to commence immediately after the ceremony, which will reportedly last about 20 minutes. Guests will then head to the reception space, where they won’t be going hungry. According to the menu, which AS.com published earlier this week, there will be plenty of meat, reflecting Argentina’s local cuisine, and also a sushi bar for those who want something lighter. The couple will also have an array of cheeses and other hors d’oeuvres, including two varieties of mini empanadas.
Along with a performance by Shakira, Argentine pop star Karina, who is married to Messi’s national teammate Sergio Aguero, is expected to perform, according to the Daily Mail. Rounding out the playlist, will be Uruguayan boy bands Rombai and Marama.
Are there wedding favors?
Of course, Messi and his soon-to-be wife wouldn’t let their guests leave empty-handed. According to Rosario’s major newspaper La Capital, each guest will get a box containing a custom bottle of wine, an engraved corkscrew and one of Messi’s favorite desserts, dulce de leche. The gift comes with a note that reads, “Welcome, and thank you for sharing this special moment with us, Leo and Anto.”