Despite generally being considered a humble legend-in-the-making, Lionel Messi is low-key a flashy kind of dude. Aside from his tattoos, his outrageous suits, and his thankfully-brief experiment with dyed blonde hair, La Pulga is hosting a metric ton of his closest friends and family–260, to be exact–for his wedding to childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo, the fellow Argentine he has known since they were 5 years old.
The wedding will take place at the City Center complex in the couple’s hometown of Rosario, roughly 200 miles from Buenos Aires. The complex features a hotel and casino, the latter of which was raided by police this week, although not in connection to Messi; cue the sigh of relief from Barcelona fans tired of his legal issues. The complex is also just a stone’s throw away from the gang-operated land held by the drug gang Los Monos, although with the 200-plus security personnel hired by Messi to protect his special day, that should likely not be an issue.
The most important part of any celebrity wedding, of course, is the guest list, and it’s a doozy. Messi invited his entire Barcelona first-team to Rosario, along with some key former teammates, like Carles Puyol, Xavi, Samuel Eto’o, and Cesc Fabregas. Some of his teammates did not make the trip for various reasons (Marc-André Ter Stegen and Andre Gomes are at the Confederations Cup, while Andres Iniesta just had a baby), although, thankfully for the tabloids, Gerard Piqué and Shakira did make it to Argentina. Finally, fellow Argentine Angel Di Maria made the cut, despite having played for rivals Real Madrid; Cristiano Ronaldo, unsurprisingly, did not get an invite.
Absolute squad arriving for Lionel Messi's wedding. pic.twitter.com/xgNzcAM2cy
— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) June 30, 2017
| Shakira and Piqué on their way to Messi's wedding today. pic.twitter.com/4cURB9Op4k
— M·A·J (@UltraAutistic) June 30, 2017
Messi also reached out to Barcelona crew members, such as the team doctors, physios, and masseurs, although, conspicuously, he did not invite recently-departed ex-Barcelona coach Luis Enrique or the rest of his staff. Drama and Messi go hand-in-hand sometimes. He also invited his neighbors from Rosario to join, which is adorable in its own way.
In what is perhaps the best detail of this whole endeavor, Messi also invited 150 journalists to come cover the event, because, let’s face it, this is even bigger than the Confederations Cup final on Sunday. And if you happen to be a Messi fanatic who is in the area on Friday? Well, there will be a giant screen streaming the proceedings outside the Rosario complex.