Barcelona superstar is getting married next to the turf of notorious gang Los Monos
LIONEL MESSI’S glitzy wedding ceremony with childhood sweetheart Antonela Roccuzzo will take place down the road from a neighbourhood run by Argentina’s notorious Los Monos drug gang.
The £360,000-a-week Barcelona superstar and his stunning partner are making a romantic return to their hometown Rosario, Santa Fe, on June 30 to get married.
Messi, 30, and Antonela, 29, and their two children Thiago, four, and Mateo, 21 months, will stay at the luxurious City Centre casino-hotel complex, where the do will reportedly take place.
Invited to the special occasion are 21 of Messi’s team-mates, including Gerard Pique and popstar partner Shakira.
Former team-mate Xavi is also invited, though there was a surprise omission for ex-manager Luis Enrique.
An indulgent menu which caters for all tastes – including steak, salad, sushi and pasta – has reportedly been leaked.
The complex contains two pools – one indoor and one outside – a casino, spa, restaurants, bars, and a hotel with a full of rooms including the top-of-the-range presidential suite.
But surrounding the hotel is a poverty-stricken, gritty neighbourhood where murder is ripe and drug violence commonplace.
Provincial official Carlos Del Frade said: “Messi’s marriage – like the casino’s presence in the neighbourhood – is a metaphor for inequality.”
On June 17, less than half a mile from the hotel, the 56-year-old sister of Los Monos’ leader, Ariel Cantero, was killed in a shooting after four women were attacked by two motorcyclists.
Over 1,000 people have lost their lives to drug gang-related violence in the past five years, according to Del Frade.
Locals are amazed that five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi is choosing Rosario as the fairytale setting for his wedding.
Micaela Llane, a 24-year-old local secretary, said: “The truth is, I’m surprised they’re doing it here, considering that Messi is one of the best-paid players in the world. I just can’t believe it.”
Guests need not fear security, though, as a former Argentinian military official with a patrol of 200 guards will oversee the event, according to AS.
Humble Messi has requested guests do NOT donate him and Antonela any money and instead give to his charity.