Messi ties the knot with childhood sweetheart - AFP PHOTO

Stars gather as Messi ties the knot with childhood sweetheart

Football and showbiz stars gathered on Friday for the celebrity “wedding of the century” in Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi’s Argentine hometown as he prepared to marry his childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo.Lionel Messi and bride Antonella Roccuzzo pose for photographers just after their wedding at the City Centre Complex in Rosario. —AFP

Pop star Shakira and her husband, Messi’s team-mate Gerard Pique, were expected among the 260 guests, according to sources close to the event and local media, which dubbed it the biggest wedding in decades in the city of Rosario.Paris Saint Germain's footballer Angel di Maria (R), Boca Juniors' footballer Fernando Gago (C) and Sevilla's footballer Ever Banegas pose with their wives during Argentine football star’s wedding. —AFP

They will join old friends of the couple and footballers including his Barcelona strike partners Neymar and Luis Suarez.Messi gives his thumb up just after his wedding at the City Centre Complex in Rosario. —AFP

Suarez and other football stars were watched by curious locals as they stepped off private jets on Thursday in the northern port city where the couple met as children.Uruguayan football player Luis Suarez and his wife Sofia Balbi pose on a red carpet during the wedding.

Former Barca and current Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas was also expected, as well as Argentina and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.Barcelona's football player Jordi Alba and his wife pose on a red carpet during Lionel Messi and Antonella Roccuzzo wedding in Rosario. —AFP

Earlier, the public relations company organizing the event warned in a statement that the ceremony will be “strictly private.”Actor Nicolas Vazquez (L) and soccer players Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Mascherano and his wife Fernanda pose for photographers at the wedding. — Reuters

Television crews and reporters gathered at the wedding venue hoping for a glimpse of the couple or at least some of their guests.Argentine football star Lionel Messi's parents Jorge Horacio Messi (C) and Celia Maria Cuccittini and his sister Maria Sol Messi pose after Messi's wedding with Antonella Roccuzzo. —AFP

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