Messi gets surprise birthday party thrown in the middle of the night by Argentina teammates – and wife Antonela teases him (VIDEO)
The iconic number 10 is currently on international duty in Brazil, where La Albiceleste top Group A after a 1-0 win over Paraguay in their last match, when Messi won the Man of the Match award.
Preparing for their encounter with Bolivia on Monday, Messi's teammates are said to have disturbed the birthday boy in the middle of the night.
Singing 'Happy Birthday' to him in Spanish, players such as Angel Di Maria, Nicolas Otamendi and Leandro Paredes lavished him with gifts including an oversized bottle of water, a bottle of wine and a baseball cap.
"Starting my birthday with the boys and receiving some presents," Messi wrote on Instagram, sharing a clip of the incident.
"Thank you very much for a special day, even though I am not with the family, who I miss a lot at the moment," he added.
Giovani Lo Celso, Di Maria, Barca's official page and Argentinean football president Marcelo Tinelli all added congratulatory comments to the post.
So too did his wife, Antonela Roccuzzo, who joked: "Poor him – my old man was already sleepy, it was late for him" alongside a laughing-crying emoji.
On her own page, she shared a photo of the couple as youngsters, a more recent intimate snap, and one of the whole Messi clan with their three kids to her 13.5 million followers.
"Happy birthday, my love. We love you more every day. You are everything to us – we miss you so much," read her caption.
Messi replied by saying: "Thank you, my life. And you lot [mean everything] to me. I love you [all]."
🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🎂🎂🐐💙💙💙🐐❤️🐐❤️🐐🎂🎂🐐🐐🐐💙🐐❤️🐐❤️🐐🎂🎂🐐💙💙💙🐐❤️❤️❤️🐐🎂🎂🐐🐐🐐💙🐐🐐🐐❤️🐐🎂🎂🐐💙💙💙🐐🐐🐐❤️🐐🎂🎂🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 24, 2021
A free agent in six days' time, Messi is focusing on trying to win his first major silverware with Argentina after the heartbreak of three lost finals from 2014 to 2016 at the World Cup and Copa America.
Yet media outlets in Catalonia report that his new two-year deal, which includes an optional additional season, could be confirmed as early as tomorrow, or on Barca president Joan Laporta's own birthday on June 29.
Putting fear into Blaugrana fans, however, La Liga head Javier Tebas has suggested that the club may have to offload several players to balance the books.Also on rt.com LaLiga chief says Barcelona ‘will have to make cuts’ to agree terms with Lionel Messi or face possibility league could BLOCK deal
"Barcelona have exceeded their wage cap," he said on Monday. "I hope they can keep Messi, but to do so they will have to make cuts elsewhere.
"The severity of the situation depends on the resources they are capable of generating," Tebas went on. "Barca have to restructure their debt. If they manage that, the situation won't be serious.
"But they have taken their wage bill to the limit. And when football has coughed – or, better put, punctured a lung – they haven't wanted to absorb that loss of income. They must take measures.
"Of the €700 million [$835 million] losses [around La Liga], half of it is for Barcelona.
"There are other big clubs that have made a bigger effort to avoid it. Real Madrid have made a commendable effort to ensure their losses aren't the same as Barca, who take the trophy for losses."Also on rt.com ‘I’m not begging for pity’: Lehmann rues ‘bandwagon’ reaction over ‘token black guy’ message as he breaks silence on racism row