Lionel Messi’s mother has been accused of trying to upstage her daughter-in-law after turning up to the couple’s wedding wearing an almost identical white dress.
The Barcelona football star and his childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo tied the knot yesterday at a star-studded event in their hometown, Rosario in Argentina’s Santa Fe province.
The wedding preparations had been dogged with rumours of a long-standing rift between Messi’s mother Celia Cuccittini and Antonella’s side of the family.
Argentine football star Lionel Messi and bride Antonella Roccuzzo pose for photographers just after their wedding at the City Centre Complex in Rosario
Argentinian media had reported that the Messis had booked an entire floor of the City Center Rosario hotel complex, with Antonella’s family occupying another floor, because the two families are not on speaking terms.
But there were shocked gasps after the civil ceremony when Celia arrived with husband Jorge on the red carpet wearing a silver white lace gown which was strikingly similar to that of the bride.
It is already considered a lack of respect in Argentina for any other guest or family member at a wedding to wear white except for the bride.
And in the days leading up last night’s the wedding, the designer chosen by mother Celia and her daughter Sol for their dresses, had told Argentina’s infobae website that the mother’s dress would be ‘dark’.
Designer, Claudio Cosano, who travelled to Rosario to help the women get ready, said they would be ‘very luxurious dresses, couture. I can assure you that they will be dark and with the Cosan style impregnated in them.’
But when she appeared Celia was wearing a long clear-cut white gown with embroidered stones and boat neckline, and a lace hem which touched the floor, just like her new daughter-in-law’s wedding dress.
For many in Argentina, the choice of dress was an attempt to compete with the woman who, according to reports, she never wanted to marry her famous son.
Former Barcelona players Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas and Carles Puyol and their wives pose on a red carpet upon arrival.
Fashion journalist Miranda Dress wrote: ‘One of the golden rules for those invited to a wedding is not to go white, light grey, beige or any colour that could be mistaken for the bride.
‘It seems that Celia Messi decided to ignore this maxim a wear a dress by Claudi Cosano that, although spectacular, was not suitable for the mother of the groom.
‘The doubts remains whether it was just a coincidence or if this gesture of the star’s mother confirms the rumours that the relationship is not good between Antonella and her mother-in-law.’
Hours before the wedding another Messi family member confirmed rumours of a feud within the family.
The couple (pictured left together as children and right today) have known each other for some 25 years have banned mobile phones at the event. Staff at the ceremony have been sworn to secrecy and 450 police officers drafted on duty
Women guests were reportedly encouraged to bring three dresses to to avoid clashes or repeats of clothes. Pictured: Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and his girlfriend Karina Tejeda
One of the footballer’s aunts was caught out live on TV when the Argentine America TV channel called her for an interview about her nephew and she revealed bitterly that she hadn’t been invited to the wedding.
When the woman found out she was live on air she hung up, and when the show called again she answered in tears, blamed Messi’s ‘horrible’ mother Celia for being shafted from the ceremony.
She added that Celia had ‘split up’ the family, complaining that more relatives from her side of the family had received invites to the wedding than that of Messi’s father Jorge.
A source close to the Messi family told MailOnline that relations between his family and fiancée Antonella Roccuzzo had also been strained for nearly seven years.
Messi and Antonella, who have two sons, chose to marry in their home town of Rosario where they grew up together.
The friend, who knew the Messi family before the footballer became famous and accompanied them on their first trips to Barcelona, said bad feelings first emerged in 2010, before the South Africa World Cup.
He said: ‘An Argentinian interviewer was talking to Messi’s mum about her and her husband going over to South Africa to see Messi play.
‘He mentioned that Antonella was already there, and she declared: ‘Antonella, Antonella, who’s Antonella?’
‘It caused tension in the family, and Messi told his parents to stay in Argentina. The two families have struggled to be amicable since then.’
But the Messi family dismissed reports of a feud between the families as ‘nonsense’.
Argentinian media and social media also tore in to singer Shakira, girlfriend of Gerard Pique, who wore the same black dress for the wedding that she posed in for a shoot for the June edition of Italy’s Vanity Fair magazine, and which she has been seen in on other occasions.
She also wore her straightened hair up in a simple pigtail, which many took as a show of disdain for Antonella, who she reportedly doesn’t get on well with.
One commentator wrote: ‘Shakira’s looks didn’t go unnoticed, misaligned, badly-combed and with a dress that, far from being at the level of the most elegant guests, was one which she had used on many other occasions.’