The family of Argentine World Cup champion Lionel Messi received an alleged narco threat in his hometown of Rosario, the most violent city in the country.
Several shots were fired early Thursday at a supermarket in Rosario owned by the family of Messi’s wife, Antonela Roccuzzo, according to local reports. The shooters left a message referring to Messi himself and Rosario mayor Pablo Javkin: “Messi, we’re waiting for you, Javkin is a narco, he’s not going to protect you.”
Messi and his family haven’t commented and the motive is unclear. Later Thursday, Javkin criticized the multiple police forces patrolling Rosario for lack of enforcement. Argentine President Alberto Fernandez told an event he was in contact with local authorities to find out what happened.
“We are doing a lot, but obviously something more will have to be done because violence and organized crime in Rosario is a really serious problem,” he said.
Messi is widely considered a hero in Argentina, especially after the dramatic World Cup Victory in December. More than four million Argentines famous the cup victory during a parade in Buenos Aires. Earlier this week, Messi received FIFA’s highest individual award for his performance at the 2022 World Cup. He and his family live in France where he plays for club Paris Saint-Germain, but they regularly visit Rosario , where they have relatives and businesses.
Argentina’s third most populous city, Rosario is located northwest of Buenos Aires about a three-hour drive. A major export hub, the city has long struggle with drug-related violence with both sides of the political aisle blaming the other for the lack of progress.
Learn how to navigate and build trust in your business with The Trust Factor, a weekly newsletter examining what leaders need to succeed. Register here.