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Barcelona star Messi marries childhood sweetheart as stars turn out for ‘wedding of the century’ in Rosario

Date Posted,June 30, 2017

The stars are on show in Rosario on Friday night for what has been dubbed “the wedding of the century” in Argentina, as Lionel Messi married long-time partner Antonella Roccuzzo.

Messi, 30, married his childhood sweetheart in a civil ceremony at a luxury hotel in the heart of Rosario.

A host of footballing greats past and present, including Xavi Hernandez, Carles Puyol, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Aguero strutted their stuff on the red carpet, to celebrate the marriage of Barcelona superstar Messi to the mother of his two children.

Over 250 guests attended the ceremony, with a host of Barcelona and Premier League stars past and present turning out on the red carpet on Friday evening.

Lionel Messi and his bride seal it with a kiss (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
The happy couple (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Former teammate Samuel Eto’o was among the first to arrive (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas and his wife (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Argentina teammate Sergio Aguero in attendance (Photo: AFP)
Ex-Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez waves to the crowd (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Former Barcelona stars Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and Carles Puyol, with their partners (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Samuel Eto’o was the first guest to walk along the red carpet, past the waiting press at the plush hotel complex, at which over 400 police are on duty.

Argentina’s Clarín newspaper has called the wedding both “the wedding of the year” and “the wedding of the century”.

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Crowds have gathered both at the local airport, awaiting the stars arriving in private jets, and also outside the Rosario hotel, adorning the streets in a bid to catch a glimpse of hometown hero Messi.

And after the ceremony, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and his wife posed on the red carpet themselves for the Barcelona star’s adoring fans.

Messi and his wife pose for photographers (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Messi and his new wife (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Posing for photographers on the red carpet (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
All smiles (Photo: REUTERS)

The bride wore an exclusive, exquisitely detailed mermaid-style gown, designed by Rosa Clara, for the ceremony.

The designer also dressed the bride’s mother and sisters and several of the wedding guests.

Guests, including Messi’s Argentine teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi, Barcelona star Gerard Pique and Shakira, were set to be given gift bags containing wine, local desert dulce de leche and other items.

The menu at the event features a ‘sushi station’, but is very much an Argentine affair, including including empanadas, traditional sweetbreads and blood sausage.

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Ezequiel Lavezzi has made the trip from China for the wedding (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Maria Sol, sister of Lionel Messi, arrives earlier in the day (Photo: REUTERS)
Gift bag for guests (Photo: Splash News)

Messi and his wife met in Rosario and have been inseparable since first crossing paths as teenagers. They have two sons together.

Messi, who moved to Spain at the age of 13 and has lived in Barcelona since, arrived home to a new mural in his honour, created in anticipation of his wedding.

(Photo: AFP)

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Guests are staying at the 188-room Pullman Hotel inside the complex, where rates start from $125 a night.

The entire area will be closed off to the public for the duration of the wedding.

Messi will have some time for a honeymoon before linking up with Barcelona for their pre-season tour of America next month.

New boss Ernesto Valverde will lead his side out to face Juventus on July 22, before testing his troops against Manchester United and Real Madrid on a tour down the east coast.

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