Lionel Messi's wedding: A look back at other sports stars' lavish ceremonies

Barcelona's Lionel Messi, a nominee for the 2014 FIFA World Player of the Year, arriving with partner Antonella Roccuzzo for the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2014 soccer awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on Jan 12, 2015.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, a nominee for the 2014 FIFA World Player of the Year, arriving with partner Antonella Roccuzzo for the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2014 soccer awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on Jan 12, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS
Artist Lisandro Urteaga painting a mural of Barcelona's football star Lionel Messi at the footballer's birthplace in Rosario, Santa Fe province, Argentina on June 29, 2017.
Artist Lisandro Urteaga painting a mural of Barcelona's football star Lionel Messi at the footballer's birthplace in Rosario, Santa Fe province, Argentina on June 29, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

The attention of the footballing fraternity have turned to Rosario, Argentina as local hero and global superstar Lionel Messi was set to tie the knot with longtime partner Antonella Roccuzzo late Friday (June 29).

In a star-studded affair, with footballing icons both past and present expected to grace the event, all eyes are on mercurial Argentine forward Messi, who turned 30 this month.

The impressive guest list includes all of Barcelona's first team, including central defender Gerard Pique and his plus-one, pop icon Shakira, as well as a selection of Messi's Argentina team-mates with Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero also expected to be present.

Dubbed the wedding of the century by local media, the wedding reception is set to take place at the Pullman Hotel, a five-star hotel which houses its very own on-site casino, with a large screen to be erected outside the venue for the many fans of the football superstar to feel involved.

The Straits Times looks at other high profile sports stars who threw lavish weddings.

1) Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ana Ivanovic

The German world cup winner married Serbian tennis ace Ana Ivanovic on July 12, 2016. Having been together since September 2014, Schweinsteiger and Ivanovic tied the knot in a ceremony in the city hall of Venice, Italy.


Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic and German soccer player Bastian Schweinsteiger sitting on a boat after their wedding in Venice, Italy on July 12, 2016. PHOTO: EPA 

The relationship between Schweinsteiger and Ivanovic came very much in focus last year when the German faced a spell on the sidelines through injury. The pair supposedly drew the ire of some of the German's former Manchester United team-mates, who were unimpressed with the German's frequent flights out of Manchester to watch Ivanovic's tennis matches.

The German responded to such rumours with a "tennis-like" celebration after scoring his only goal at Old Trafford against Wigan Athletic, prior to his winter transfer to Chicago Fire in the MLS.

2) Jenson Button and Jessica Michibata


Mercedes McLaren Formula One Driver Jenson Button walking with his girlfriend Jessica Michibata in the paddock area before the Monaco F1 Grand Prix on May 26, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

Formula One star Jenson Button proposed to Japanese-Argentine model Michibata on Valentine's Day in 2014 with a diamond engagement ring worth a purported quarter of a million pounds. The pair have been dating since 2008, albeit having split up for a brief period of time in 2011.

The couple held a plush wedding ceremony in Maui, Hawaii in December 2014, in front of a gathering of family and friends.

Their marital bliss however did not last long however, as the couple announced their split just a year later on amicable terms.

Button has been on a sabbatical from racing since stepping down from the McLaren race seat for the 2017 F1 season, having signed a two-year ambassadorial deal with the team.

3) Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik

Former world No.1 double tennis player Sania Mirza married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik on April 12, 2010 in a traditional Muslim wedding at the Taj Krishna Hotel in Mirza's hometown of Hyderabad, India.

The engagement ran into some unexpected bumps, after allegations that Malik was at the time still married to another Indian woman, Ayesha Siddique. A police report was filed with the Siddique family's only demand being a divorce.

The divorce between the two parties was negotiated by Muslim elders and the Siddique family subsequently withdrew their police complaint, allowing the wedding to proceed.

The couple celebrated their seventh anniversary this year, with Malik dedicating his Man of the Match award in Pakistan's one-day International series victory over the West Indies to Mirza on social media.

4) Russell Westbrook and Nina Earl

Six-time NBA all-star Westbrook married college sweetheart Nina Earl on August 29, 2015. The pair, who met while Westbrook was playing college basketball for University of California, Los Angeles, tied the knot at a grand ceremony at the famous Beverly Hills hotel.

In attendance were many of Westbrook's teammates, both past and present, including recently crowned finals MVP Kevin Durant, as well as current Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden.

The lavish affair even included a surprise performance by R&B Grammy winner Miguel, and had been put together by famed party planner Mindy Weiss.

The couple welcomed their first child, Noah Russell Westbrook, on May 16, 2017.

5) Andres Iniesta and Anna Ortiz

Messi's Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta married Anna Ortiz on July 8, 2012 in Altafulla, near Tarragona, Spain.

The Spanish midfield maestro is incidentally one of the few Barcelona players who will be absent at Messi's wedding as the couple recently welcomed their third child in May.

In a similarly grandiose ceremony, Iniesta was escorted down the aisle by his mother to the title song of the film Gladiator, whilst Ortiz chose perhaps a more suitable tune, Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You.

Many of Iniesta's Barcelona teammates graced the event, including Messi and Roccuzzo, who was then pregnant with the pair's first child Thiago.