From hometown sweethearts to soccer power couple: Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo's relationship timeline (2024)

Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo tied the knot in 2017, but their love story has been decades in the making.

The Argentinian professional soccer player, 36, and the model and influencer, 36, have known each other since they were children, and romance blossomed when they reconnected as adults.

Messi is widely considered one of the greatest soccer players in the world. Born in Rosario, Argentina, he moved to Spain at age 13 when he signed with FC Barcelona, making his debut with the Spanish team in 2004.

He went on to win seven prestigious Ballon d’Or trophies, the most won by any soccer player, and he has earned dozens of other honors, including a record-breaking six European Golden Shoes. He and the Argentinians also won the 2021 Copa América and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, among numerous other achievements.

Roccuzzo, who also grew up in Rosario, Argentina, knew Messi before he rose to fame. While Messi moved to Spain as a teenager to pursue his soccer career, Roccuzzo remained in Argentina, earning a Bachelor's degree in humanities and social sciences. Later, she studied dentistry at the National University of Rosario, according to Vanity Fair España, before moving to Spain to be with Messi.

Today, Roccuzzo works as a social media influencer and model, and describes herself as a “digital creator” in her bio on Instagram, where she has more than 39 million followers.

Roccuzzo has shared Instagram posts about her partnerships with numerous brands, including Tiffany and the wellness company Alo.

Messi and Roccuzzo share three sons: Mateo, Thiago and Ciro.

Read on to learn more about their love story through the years.

They met as children

Roccuzzo met Messi as a young girl in their hometown of Rosario, Argentina, according to Vanity Fair España. They shared a connection through Roccuzzo’s cousin, former Argentinian pro soccer player Lucas Scaglia, who played alongside Messi on a youth team.

Messi was apparently captivated by Roccuzzo early on and began spending more time at Scaglia’s family home to be closer to her, according to CNN Sports.

While they knew each other as children, they spent their teen years apart when Messi went to Spain to begin his professional soccer career with FC Barcelona.

They went public with their relationship in 2009

Messi and Roccuzzo reconnected as adults in the early 2000s, and while they kept their relationship out of the public eye during that time, Messi apparently confirmed in a 2009 interview with a soccer news show that he was in a relationship.

By 2010, they were widely confirmed as a couple, with the media capturing photos of the pair sunbathing in Rio de Janeiro.

The couple welcomed their first child in 2012

Messi and Roccuzzo welcomed their first son, Thiago, on Nov. 2, 2012.

The soccer star celebrated his son’s birth by getting tattoos of Thiago’s name and handprints on his calf.

“He’s the most important thing to me now,” Messi said of his newborn son in January 2013, in an interview with the Spanish-language El Periódico de Catalunya, in a translation shared by the sports website Marca.

“My life has changed a lot, in many ways," he continued. "He comes before everything else. Now the way I see things has changed. I have different priorities.”

They welcomed a second son in 2015

The couple welcomed their second son, Mateo, on Sept. 11, 2015.

In a 2016 essay for Sports Illustrated, Messi said the births of both Mateo and Thiago were “life changing.”

“I’m ecstatic about the family we have been able to create,” he wrote.

He also described a typical day with his family of four at the time, which involved “taking Thiago to school, going to training, hanging out at home drinking maté and spending time with Anto and the kids at the park or somewhere. It’s a normal, calm life, the kind of life we have always wanted.”

Fast forward to September 2023, and Roccuzzo shared an adorable series of Instagram photos celebrating Mateo’s 8th birthday.

“Happy birthday boy❤️We love you infinitely Matu,” she wrote in the caption in Spanish. “8 years of stealing hearts.”

They had the “wedding of the century”

Messi and Roccuzzo threw a lavish wedding in June 2017, saying “I do” at a hotel and casino in their hometown of Rosario.

The Clarín newspaper called the star-studded event “the wedding of the century,” according to the BBC, and it certainly seemed to be an epic affair.

Several soccer stars, including former Spanish pro player Gerard Piqué and his then-partner, Shakira, were on hand for the celebrations.

Crowds also gathered at the local airport to catch a glimpse of the celebrity wedding guests.

They welcomed one more child in 2018

The couple’s third son, Ciro, was born in March 2018.

Roccuzzo shared an adorable throwback photo on Instagram of Ciro as a baby to celebrate his 5th birthday last year, writing in the caption in Spanish, “Forever our baby.”

In a sweet tribute to her boys, Roccuzzo has the names of each of her sons tattooed in delicate cursive: “Thiago” written with a heart on her right hand, “Mateo” inked on her left hand, and “Ciro” tattooed on her left wrist.

Messi also shares snapshots of dad life from time to time. In 2022, he shared a candid on Instagram of himself hanging out with his three boys. The photo didn’t have a caption, but his happy expression said it all.

Messi says the sweetest things about his love for Roccuzzo

Messi and Roccuzzo have kept their relationship relatively private, but when Messi does mention his wife in interviews, he only has glowing words.

“The truth is that (I admire) everything” about her, Messi told Marca in 2019. “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. She is a very intelligent person who is great in all aspects of life.”

He also celebrated his wife’s birthday in February 2022 with a series of romantic Instagram photos.

“Happy birthday my life!! Have a beautiful day. I love you ❤,” he wrote in the caption.

The couple moved to Miami in July 2023

Last year, the couple made a major move to the the U.S.

Messi joined Major League Soccer after 21 years playing for Barcelona and a two-season stint for Paris Saint-Germain.

The couple bought an $11 million waterfront mansion in Fort Lauderdale, according to The Real Deal.

They are thinking about expanding their family

Messi hinted in a September 2023 interview that he and Roccuzzo may be open to welcoming a fourth child.

“We’d like to have a baby again,” he said in an interview with the streaming channel OLGA, Hola! reported. “We’re not searching, but we’ll see if a baby girl arrives.”

They still bond over soccer

Roccuzzo and the kids recently attended one of Messi's games and shared a picture of them on Instagram June 20.

Messi's Argentina shut out Canada 2-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta as it began its defense of its Copa America title. He broke a record by appearing in his 35th Copa America match, according to the tournament's website.

Lindsay Lowe

Lindsay Lowe has been a regular contributor to TODAY.com since 2016, covering pop culture, style, home and other lifestyle topics. She is also working on her first novel, a domestic drama set in rural Regency England.

From hometown sweethearts to soccer power couple: Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo's relationship timeline (2024)

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