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Stars descend for Lionel Messi's wedding

Footballers and showbiz celebrities touch down in Argentina as Lionel Messi prepares to tie the knot with childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo


Lionel Messi and childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo

Football and showbiz stars gathered in Argentina for Latin America's celebrity wedding bash of the decade as Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi prepared to marry his childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo yesterday. Messi's teammate Gerard Pique, were expected among the 260 guests. They will join old friends of the couple and footballers, including his Barcelona strike partners Neymar and Luis Suarez, in Messi's northern hometown, Rosario.

Current and former Barcelona players  arrive in Argentina yesterday. Pic/ Carles Puyol’s twitter account
Current and former Barcelona players arrive in Argentina yesterday. Pic/ Carles Puyol's twitter account   

The guests will pack into the Hotel City-Center Casino, which stands right next to a crime-ridden slum run by drug gangs. This city is also a cradle of footballing talent, however.

Barca forward Luis Suarez and his wife Sofia Balbi at Rosario airport yesterday. Pic/afp

What's on the menu?
THE wedding ceremony and party will take place inside the venue, and the guests will be lodged there too. Messi, has reportedly asked chefs to cook local delicacies such as "locro" stew and "empanada" pasties for the feast. The star dish is a typical Argentine beef roast including chitterlings, gizzards and kidneys.

Shakira

What's for entertainment?
It's confirmed that the guests will get a song from Shakira, the Colombian diva famous for “Whenever, Wherever.” Uruguayan pop bands Rombai and Marama and singer Karina, wife of Argentina footballer Sergio Aguero, will also perform at the wedding.

What will the bride wear?
Brunette bride Roccuzzo, 29, will wear a dress by Rosa Clara -- a Spanish designer who has dressed actress Eva Longoria and Spain's Queen Letizia.

No gifts, please
Messi and his partner are not keen on receiving any material gifts for their wedding and have requested the guests to donate to his charity, the Leo Messi Foundation, which supports children in healthcare, education and sport.

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