Meet the WAG who won Lionel Messi’s heart when they were just five

In Buenos Aires, Antonella Roccuzzo, the WAG who won Lionel Messi’s heart at the tender age of five, will cheer on Argentina’s talisman as he bids for eternal World Cup glory.

Antonella Roccuzzo had no idea that today she would be watching the best player on the planet cheer on him in the World Cup final when she met the boy who dreamed of being a footballer when she was just five years old. 

She had no idea she would become Lionel Messi’s billion-dollar brand and that it would eclipse all other brands, including David and Victoria Beckham’s and Cristiano Ronaldo’s fiancee Georgina Rodriguez. 

Nor was she aware that she would become the most famous woman in South America. In addition to being a philanthropist, she is an influencer, a multi-millionaire, the owner of a children’s clothing line, and an animal lover. 

Her previous career was as a dentist, but she gave that up to be with the Argentina striker as he traveled through Barcelona and now Paris Saint-Germain to become the world’s most famous and richest player. 

Today in Qatar, Antonela – mother to three sons of Argentina’s 35-year-old superstar – will be looking forward to watching Messi lead Argentina to victory against defending champions France. 

With this achievement, he would secure the one honor left to him in his illustrious career. Antonela, 34, is described as humble and modest and enjoys nothing more than being at home with her two beloved dogs and her three boys. 

As you might expect, there are several houses on the property. The properties include a £10 million mansion on the Mediterranean coast just outside Barcelona with views of the Catalan hills. 

Ibiza, Miami, and Rosario, Argentina, are among their other destinations. They own a home called The Fortress with 25 rooms, including a playroom for Thiago, Mateo, and Ciro. 

According to friends, the Messis are planning to retire there. It would be a full circle for the adorable couple who met in 1993 and began their fairy-tale romance. 

As opposed to most footballers who meet their WAGs in gaudy nightclubs or on social media, their love story is a little different.

Antonela is the cousin of Messi’s childhood buddy Lucas Scagilia.

The footballer-to-be first saw her in the early Nineties and immediately asked: ‘Who is she?’ She answered, ‘Antonela, my cousin.’ 

Scagilia’s father said that Messi ‘couldn’t look away from her for a second’. After spending two days in her neighborhood, Messi knew he wanted to be with her forever. 

Whenever she stayed at Scagilia’s house, Messi took every opportunity to visit in hopes that he would see her. 

It would usually happen over the weekend. When they grew up, he promised to be her boyfriend and would write her love letters. 

They remained in contact, with Antonela going to watch Messi and her cousin play for the Newell’s Old Boys club in their younger days. 

Messi moved to Barcelona at the age of 13 to further his career. However, the pair remained in contact throughout. 

A tragic event brought them back together five years later. She was devastated when Ursula Notz died in a car accident. As a result of his childhood crush, Messi flew back to Argentina for comfort. 

They realised then that they wanted to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Still, there were thousands of miles between them because ambitious Antonela, then 18, didn’t want to be an archetypal WAG. 

She went off to get a degree in humanities and social sciences from the National University of Rosario, and then started postgraduate studies in dentistry. But love eventually won out. 

Antonela made the heart-­wrenching decision to cut short her career and move to Barcelona two years after their relationship became known. 

On the football chat show Hat Trick Barca on the Catalan channel TV3 in January 2009, Messi was asked if he was in a relationship. 

He replied: ‘Yes, I have a girlfriend. She is in Argentina. The truth is that I am well and I am relaxed.’ 

Just a few months later the couple went public during a carnival in Sitges after the big BarcelonaEspanyol local derby. 

In 2012, Thiago was born, followed by Mateo in 2015. And in 2017 – 25 years after their first meeting – Antonela finally became Mrs Messi when they tied the knot at a luxury hotel in their home town of Rosario. 

It was described as Argentina’s ‘wedding of the century’ and boasted a guest list of 260 people including footballers Neymar, Luis Suárez and Gerard Piqué, who arrived in Rosario in a private jet with his then partner, Colombian pop star Shakira. 

The bride wore a dress by Rosa Clara, a Barcelonabased designer who has dressed actress Eva Longoria and Spain’s Queen Letizia. 

A year later the couple had another son, Ciro. Their clan also includes two dogs, a French mastiff named Señor Hulk and a more timid cockapoo named Abu. 

Messi says of his wife: ‘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.’ 

Despite her wealth, Antonela does not spend her days shopping for designer clothing. 

She volunteered at the SJD hospital in Barcelona in the summer. 

The couple also gave the leftovers from their wedding to the Rosario food bank. While her husband rakes in £94million over three years playing for Paris Saint-Germain, Antonela makes her own millions as a social media influencer. 

Businesses are falling over themselves to sign her up to plug their products in return for a huge pay cheque. 

They include Alo yoga clothing, Dolce & Gabbana, Guerlain, Dior and Louis Vuitton.

 But this afternoon, when Messi lines up at the Lusail Stadium in Doha, their billion-dollar bank balance will pale into insignificance as he plays to fulfil another childhood dream – to lift the most sought-after trophy in world football

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