Lionel Messi spent Friday night watching a play featuring Argentine actor Ricardo Darín

Lionel Messi is loved in Barcelona. Despite the tax offences which he has been accused of this week and the injury to his knee, the Barça forward has not stopped living a normal life. 

So normal, in fact, that he spent Friday evening at the Tívoli Theatre in the Catalan city watching a play featuring Ricardo Darín. The name of the play is ‘Escenas de la vida Conyugal’ and Messi wanted to take it in as he is a big fan of the Argentine actor, Darín.

The Argentina international was applauded by his fellow theatre-goers when he approached his seat, accompanied by his partner, Antonella. He was also joined by his mother, Celia, and his brother, Rodrigo. 

Messi arrived when the theatre was already nearly full, so plenty of people caught a glimpse of him as he made his way in. He smiled pleasantly at the reception he was given. 

Who is this girl? The story of the shocking Antonella Roccuzzo

Lionel Messi found love and not in a TopModel. He only wanted a girl in his neighborhood for life, daughter of the owner of a supermarket. The story.

Question: Do you have a girlfriend?

Answer: Yes, I have a girlfriend.

Question: Do you have a girlfriend?

Answer: Yes, she’s in Argentina. The truth is that I’m good and I’m calm.

The dialogue between journalists of the program Hat Trick Barça from the TV of Catalonia and Lionel Messi occurred the 26th of January of 2009, a day in which, without naming her, La Pulga (The Flea), 21 years old, confirmed his romance with Antonella Roccuzzo, then 20, the neighbor from Rosario whom he met thanks to Lucas Scaglia, a teammate from the inferiors of Newell’s and cousin of the actual wife and mother of the two sons of the best in the world. A Messi that doesn’t stop transforming into the center of attention every time that he appears in the public scene.

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It was 1996 when Messi, Scaglia, and his cousin Antonella started to spend a lot of time playing at the shores of Paraná, in the native city of both. Lio, 9 years of age, felt quickly smitten by the daughter of José and Patricia, owners of the chain of supermarket Único (Unique) of the city of Rosario, but he didn’t dare declare himself. Those who have known him since young tell, that the little one who already dazzled in the inferiors of Newell’s wrote letters in which he assumed for a fact that one day she would be his bride.

The first supermarket of the parents of Antonella Roccuzzo, located in Boulevard Rondeau 4156, in Rosario, began as a pantry area, property of Antonella’s grandmother. With time it transformed into one of the main businesses in the area that today counts with with six other branches in the province.

Second of the three daughters of José Roccuzzo and Patricia Blanco - the first Paula, 20, lawyer; the last was Carla, 26, medic - Antonella coursed her studies in the prestigious Centro Educativo Latinoamericano (Latin American Educational Center) and always kept a close relationship with Lionel until in 2000 his father, Jorge Messi, made the decision that would change everything: fly to Spain to try out his luck in Barcelona. There, the lives of Lionel and Antonella took different paths: he started down the path that would lead him to be the best in the world and she tried to rebuild herself with a neighbor in Rosario with whom she maintained a stable relationship for nearly three years.

The willowy brunette also had her sporty side: for six years she dedicated five hours daily, three times per week, practicing gymnastics performing at Club Gimnasia y Esgrima (Club Gymnastics and Fencing). She trained hard to show off her already natural beauty. At 13 years old, maybe bored of the routine, she ended it.

Shortly before La Negra, as they knew her from young, received her degree with concentration in Humanities and Social Sciences, the reunion with Lionel was produced in mark of a tragic episode in her life: the death of her friend in an accident provoked by a drunken person driving. Messi found out and, as soon as he could, traveled to be by her side.

In that moment, they secured their relationship but chose to maintain it privately. Messi returned to Barcelona and Antonella tried to find her calling. At first instance, she studied dentistry in the Universidad Nacional de Rosario (National University of Rosario), but the enthusiasm did not last long, barely six months. So she tried her luck with Social Communications, where she attended a career year.

All was well between them, and they no longer wanted to hide. Antonella’s circle of friends tell the she recognized that she went out with Lionel one day, July 20th, 2007, when she [Antonella] reunited them in a big house that the Roccuzzo family have in Roldán, a city in the area south of Rosario.

Confirmation that the relationship was already established occurred before the World Cup of South Africa 2010. Roccuzzo traveled for the first time to Barcelona and installed herself in the the home of Lio, located in Castell De Fels. There her family and friends visited her, and she spent her time between the gym, English tutoring, and the company of the footballer.

On July 2nd, 2012, a celebration from Lionel Messi with the Argentinian jersey after a goal against Ecuador in the Monumental (Monumental) stadium confirmed the rumors that had already weight on the news: Antonella was pregnant with Thiago, the first child of both, born on November 2nd of the same year.

The Rosarian was already one of the most searched personalities by the media, but never once wanted to give an interview. She always maintained the lowest profile and her public appearances were only recorded in the galas of the Ballon d’Or in which Messi participated as main figure or in the anticipated vacations of both in which she often shows off her spectacular figure.

When the 2014-15 season of European football was about to finish with Barcelona the winners of the triplet Copa del Rey-Champions-Liga, Messi becoming the maximum goal scorer in the season with 43 goals, it was the striker himself who confirmed with a photo on Facebook that Antonella was awaiting the second child of the couple, Mateo, born on September 11, 2015.

The life of Lionel Messi and Antonella Roccuzzo seemed to be destined to coincide, whether by fate or by themselves: history finds them always together, or at least very close. He always knew that he loved her and she had enough patience to wait for the moment of the definitive reunion.

The couple have lived in Barcelona for years, but whenever they can they travel to Argentina to reunite with family and friends, circles that both of them appreciate. When they are in Rosario, Antonella spends a lot of time at the Funes Hills Mirasoles complex, the gated community where her parents live.

They also enjoy, of course, the time that they spend in family; time that includes, apart from Lionel’s games, the usual lives of mortals, like the schooling of the children, for example, and rest on vacations where you’ll usually find them in eccentric sites, in general paradisaical beaches where Antonella Roccuzzo takes on the role of main protagonist in this story of love that the media desperately try to reflect with their portraits.

Original Article; Translated by me