Behind every successful man, they say, is a woman. In Messi's case, his wife Antonela Roccuzzo is the unseen anchor in Lionel Messi's legendary career.
Who is Antonela Roccuzzo?
Born on February 26, 1988, Antonela Roccuzzo hails from Rosario, Argentina – the same city as her famous husband.
The daughter of Jose Roccuzzo and Patricia Blanko, Antonela is of Italian and Spanish descent and is the middle child between two sisters, Paula and Carla. She's also the cousin of former Argentine Lucas Scaglia, who grew up closely with Messi.
The unfolding of a love story
The story of Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo is full of rich history and childhood memories they share. The duo met when they were mere children, with Messi being good friends with Antonela's cousin, Lucas Scaglia.
Despite the geographical distance that grew between them when Messi relocated to Spain to join FC Barcelona's renowned La Masia academy, their bond remained intact. Eventually, it blossomed into romance in the late 2000s.
Stepping into public view
In 2009, Messi publicly confirmed his relationship with Antonela Roccuzzo. Until then, Antonela had deliberately maintained a low profile, choosing not to partake in the glamorous lifestyle usually associated with the partners of famous athletes.
Antonela's decision to stay out of the media glare only sparked greater interest in her life and personality. Now, she's followed by nearly 40 million people on Instagram.
Education and entrepreneurial endeavors
Antonela Roccuzzo is much more than just Lionel Messi's wife. She studied at the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, focusing on nutrition science, though she didn't pursue a career in this field.
Later, she embarked on her entrepreneurial journey, co-owning a footwear brand called Sarkany in Argentina with her friend and business partner, Sofia Balbi, the wife of Messi's close friend and former teammate, Luis Suarez. Unfortunately, the Barcelona-based store shut operations in 2019 due to significant losses.
Roccuzzo is also a spokesperson for Dolce and Gabbana and Alo, amongst other fashion and fitness brands.
Family Life and Motherhood
Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo exchanged their vows on June 30, 2017, in a grand ceremony in Rosario. The couple has three sons together: Thiago Messi Roccuzzo (born in 2012), Mateo Messi Roccuzzo (born in 2015), and Ciro Messi Roccuzzo (born in 2018).
Antonela shares glimpses of their beautiful family life on her social media accounts, often giving insight into the life of the world's best-ever player.
The unsung heroine in Messi's life
Antonela Roccuzzo has consistently been Lionel Messi's unwavering rock, sharing his triumphs and standing by him through tribulations. Messi often acknowledges his wife and children's crucial role in his life.
“She has many good qualities: how she gets by on a daily basis; her personality; she is always in a good mood; and she always faces up to problems in an admirable way,” Messi told Marca back in 2019.
He added that his wife is a “very intelligent person who is great in all aspects of life.”