Soccer superstar Lionel Messi’s Argentine hometown is preparing to host footballing and showbiz celebrities when he marries childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo .
Colombian popstar Shakira, wife of Messi’s Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique, has said she hopes to attend.Media such as local Rosario newspaper La Capital also expect other current and former Barcelona stars such as Luis Suarez, Neymar, Cesc Fabregas and Xavi Hernandez to be among the invitees.
The Barcelona forward’s agents confirmed in a statement that the couple will wed in Rosario on June 30, a week after Messi’s 30th birthday.The guest list, venue and party details are the subject of a swirl of rumours
.Sources in the city’s cathedral contacted by AFP denied reports that Messi and Roccuzzo would have a religious wedding ceremony there.
The couple still has friends and family in this northern city, where Messi discovered his love of football—and of his brunette future bride.It is also where their two children were baptised—Thiago, 4 and one-year-old Mateo, both born in Barcelona.
Some media predicted 600 guests, but La Capital said no more than 250 were expected, including 21 Barcelona players.National newspaper Clarin said Argentine singer Karina, wife of Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, will be a guest and also hired to sing at the wedding.
Football and showbiz stars will gather in northern Argentina on Friday for Latin America’s celebrity wedding of the decade when Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi marries his childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo.
Here is what we know from the few details given by Messi’s spokespeople as well as media reports and local people close to the event in his home city of Rosario.
– Shakira and friends –
Pop star Shakira and her husband, Messi’s teammate Gerard Pique, are expected among the 260 guests.
They will join old friends of the couple and footballers such as his Barcelona strike partners Luis Suarez and Neymar.
– The Dress –
Brunette bride Roccuzzo, 29, will wear a dress by Spanish designer Rosa Clara, which has been flown over from Barcelona.
The designer has dressed stars such as actresses Eva Longoria and Sofia Vergara as well as Spain’s Queen Letizia.
– Casino hotel –
From 2200 GMT the guests will pack into the Hotel City Center-Casino in Rosario, near to a crime-ridden slum run by drug gangs.
The civil wedding ceremony and party will all take place inside the venue, and the guests will be lodged there too.
– Roasted gizzards –
Messi, 30, has reportedly asked chefs to cook local delicacies such as “locro” stew and “empanada” pasties for the feast.
The star dish is a typical Argentine beef roast including chitterlings, gizzards and kidneys.
– Latin pop –
Uruguayan pop bands Rombai and Marama plus singer Karina, wife of Argentina footballer Sergio Aguero, will perform at the dance.
It is not known whether the guests will also get a song from Shakira, the Colombian diva famous for “Whenever, Wherever.”
– Security, media –
Security will be handled by a private team of Israeli specialists used by Messi for all his excursions.
Some 155 journalists have been accredited to cover the bash, but have been warned they will have no access to the guests.