Two gunmen on motorcycle reportedly opened fire at a supermarket owned by the in-laws of Argentina captain and Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi in Rosario, Argentina, on Thursday.
According to police the incident occurred in the early hours Thursday morning, leaving 14 bullet holes at a market owned by the parents of Antonela Roccuzzo, Messi’s wife.
Nobody was injured in the attack, and it is unclear why assailants would target Messi or the Unico supermarket.
Was Lionel Messi A Target?
Police and Pablo Javkin, the mayor of Rosario, confirmed that gunmen left a “handwritten note” with threat aimed at the seven-time Ballon d’Or award winner.
The note read: “Messi, we are waiting for you. Javkin is a drug dealer. He is not going to look after you.”
Police say an investigation is underway. Review of surveillance videos and eyewitness interviews are being conducted.
Javkin has publicly complained about the rising crime in Rosario and the need for more police officers.
“Rosario is 300km [from Buenos Aires], it is near. We want to get all the resources against crime that Argentina has to take care of us, to protect this city that gives the country glory and science, countryside and art, federalism and union,” Javkin tweeted.
Neither Messi or his wife have commented on the situation.
Celia Maria Cuccittini, Messi’s mother, spoke to journalist Maite Peñoñori of CNN Radio Argentina and advised that everyone is fine.
“We’re fine, it happened at the supermarket of Anto’s father. We never requested private security in our city, we lead a normal life,” she explained.
Messi Continues Great Play
Aside from this incident it has been a great season for the football legend Messi.
He led Argentina to the 2022 FIFA World Cup title, his first, the country’s third. He was named best player of the tournament, and the FIFA Player of the Year award.
Messi is currently with PSG as they finish the Ligue 1 season. He’s scored 17 goals in 28 games.
PSG will face Bayern Munich in the second leg of their round-of-16 battle. PSG faces a long odds if they are to advance to the next round. They already lost the first leg at home 0-1 to Bayern and will need to beat Bayern by one goal to force the extra time. In order to turn the series around and advance to the quarterfinals, PSG must defeat Bayern by two or more goals.
Messi will be on the pitch for PSG but his other superstar teammate Neymar will not. The Brazilian was injured in a Ligue 1 game against Lille and suffered ligament damage.
PSG may also be without top defender Achraf Hakimi, who has been accused of rape by a 23-year-old woman. The Moroccan was given preliminary charges of rape but according to French law, preliminary charges means there is reason to suspect a crime has been committed but it allows magistrates more time to investigate before deciding whether to send the case to trial.
Hakimi’s lawyer, Fanny Colin, released a statement which read in part:
“According to the elements currently at the disposal of the police that M. Hakimi, in this case, is the victim of an attempt of racketeering. Achraf Hakimi strongly denied the accusations against him during his police interview. Being charged gives M. Hakimi the possibility to defend himself with a lot of rights, especially to have access to the case file.”
A rape allegation is serious, stay tuned.
The good news for Messi and PSG is that Kylian Mbappé, arguably the world’s best player, will be available for the match against Bayern.