Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.


Your Sun

A News UK Company

Gerard Pique claims Lionel Messi’s wedding was the turning point in Neymar’s career

The Barcelona defender has been at the centre of the transfer that took the Brazilian to PSG last week

In some ways, with no major international tournament this summer, the footballing event of the season came off the pitch.

Lionel Messi and childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo tied the knot at their wedding in June in front of a stellar line up of guests from the world of football and beyond.


Lionel Messi and Antonella share a kiss after their wedding ceremony

Messi and wife Antonella Roccuzzo

And it appears the event precipitated the biggest transfer deal of the summer – and indeed in history – too.

That’s because Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has claimed that former team-mate Dani Alves convinced Neymar to sign for PSG at the ceremony.

Neymar completed a world-record £196m move to the French giants last week after they triggered his sizeable release clause.

And in an interview with Spanish radio station El Partidazo de COPE Pique has expressed his belief that Alves played a sweet-talking role in the negotiations.

Pique was at the centre of the tug of war between Barcelona and PSG after he tweeted a picture with Neymar with the caption ‘He stays’.

The Instagram post that was meant to confirm Neymar was staying

The Instagram post that was meant to confirm Neymar was staying

Neymar's first appearance in a PSG shirt

Rex Features
Neymar’s first appearance in a PSG shirt

Neymar didn’t, of course, and Pique has since admitted he was already aware at that point the Brazilian superstar was leaving.

Pique was also inadvertently involved in some controversy ahead of the wedding too.

Antonella Roccuzzo is close friends with the Spain defender’s ex-girlfriend and isn’t happy the way their relationship ended or how hastily he paired up with current partner Shakira.

Pique and Shakira have been together since the 2010 World Cup

Pique and Shakira have been together since the 2010 World Cup

In fact, for a while it appeared Pique wouldn’t be invited to the wedding altogether.

For all Pique’s power at Barcelona and in Catalonia itself, he evidently isn’t as influential as he thinks…

DREAM TEAM COMEDY: The different types of Fantasy Football Manager