Lionel Messi pays tribute to 'sweetheart' wife ahead of Barcelona v Eibar clash

Posted Saturday, October 19, 2019 by

Lionel Messi pays tribute to 'sweetheart' wife ahead of Barcelona v Eibar clash

Messi met his childhood sweetheart Antonella Ruccuzzo at just 13-years-old

Age hasn't appeared to phase Lionel Messi as the Barcelona star picked up the European Golden Shoe award on Wednesday.

The Argentina striker's scintillating form during the 2018-19 La Liga campaign saw him collect the gong for the third consecutive year.

At the grand old age of 32, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner swept aside nearest rival and Paris St Germain striker Kylian Mbappe to win the award for the sixth time in total.

Despite a glittering career at the Camp Nou spanning 15 years, the no.10 has managed to keep his feet firmly on the ground, winning the hearts of fans and pundits alike in the process.

Lionel Messi pays tribute to 'sweetheart' wife ahead of Barcelona v Eibar clash
Messi with wife and kids (Image: Instagram)

And the humble star says he owes a lot of his success to his childhood sweetheart and wife Antonella Ruccuzzo.

Messi was first introduced to Ruccuzzo through his first cousin in Rosario in the Santa Fe Province, 186 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.

But determined to follow his dream, the former Newell's Old Boys player jumped on a plane to the Spain capital, leaving Ruccuzo behind.

Five years later, the pair were reunited at a 2009 Christmas party and haven't looked back since.

Father to Thiago, Mateo and Ciro, Messi married his 31-year-old model wife in their hometown of Rosario in July 2017.

Lionel Messi pays tribute to 'sweetheart' wife ahead of Barcelona v Eibar clash
Antonella Ruccuzzo is a 31-year-old model (Image: Instagram)

Paying tribute to his wife, Messi told MARCA: “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.”

Messi's emotional tribute came just days ahead of Barcelona's away trip to Eibar where they will be hoping to record their fifth win in six games.

The Catalan giants currently sit second in La Liga two points adrift of European kingpins Real Madrid who are yet to lose a domestic game this season.

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde will be hoping his side can overtake the league leaders - at least until tomorrow evening when Los Blancos take on RCD Mallorca at the Iberostar Stadium.

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