Supportive banners have been left by fans of Lionel Messi’s first-ever club, Newell’s Old Boys, after an attack on his wife’s supermarket. The Argentine supermarket owned by Antonella Roccuzzo’s family was targeted by a gang who shot at the door and windows. The attackers left a message that read: “Messi we are waiting for you, Javkin is also a drug trafficker, he is not going to take care of you.” The message referred to Pablo Javkin, the mayor of Rosario, which is Messi’s hometown that he left for Barcelona as a child.
Messi currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain and lives in France, although he owns property in his Argentina home. Manager of Newell’s, former Manchester United right back Gabriel Heinze, was asked about the attack and said he thinks it rules out the World Cup-winning captain ever returning to play in Argentina. Fans of Newell’s have attempted to support one of their most famous sons, hanging banners at the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa where they play their home games.
One banner read: “Leo, you’re the heart of a country that loves you. Newell’s is with you.” Messi was in Newell’s academy between 1995 and 2000 but never made a professional appearance at such a young age. He instead departed for Spain, becoming a legend at Barca, later joining PSG before winning the 2022 World Cup with Argentina. There has been much speculation about the forward’s future after this season, with strong links to MLS side Inter Miami, but a return home to Newell’s now looks unlikely.