Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires: On Thursday, gunmen in Argentina opened fire at a supermarket owned by Lionel Messi’s in-laws, leaving a written message in which they allegedly threatened the Argentine soccer star.


There were no reported injuries from the early morning attack on the Unico supermarket in Rosario, the third largest city in Argentina, which is owned by Messi’s wife Antonella Roccuzzo’s family.

Rosario is about 190 miles (300 kilometers) northwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina; its mayor, Pablo Javkin, went to the grocery store and blasted federal authorities for failing to stop a rise in drug-related violence there.
At least a dozen shots were fired into a Unico branch by two men on a motorcycle in the early hours, according to the police, and they left a note reading, “Messi, we’re waiting for you” on a piece of cardboard. Because Javkin deals drugs, you can’t count on him to look out for you.

Messi has remained silent. Messi, who captained the Argentine national team to its first World Cup title in 36 years in December’s tournament in Qatar, is universally regarded as the sport’s greatest player.

Even though he spends most of his time playing for Paris Saint-Germain and traveling abroad, Messi frequently returns home to the suburb of Funes in Rosario. On Thursday morning, the French team shared a photo from Messi’s training session on social media.

Prosecutor Federico Rébola in Rosario stated that preliminary investigation included reviewing security camera footage. According to Messi, this was the first time his in-laws had ever been threatened in this way.

Rosario is in the province of Santa Fe, and the minister of justice there, Celia Arena, called the attack an act of “terrorism” carried out by a “mafia” group in an effort to strike fear into the hearts of the general populace.
It will be an event of global significance, and the goal is to deliberately cause terror in the population and discourage those of us fighting against criminal violence, Arena wrote on social media.

Conservative politician Javkin appeared to blame both criminal gangs and federal security officials for the attack. Javkin is an opponent of the ruling Peronist coalition.

“I doubt everyone, even those who are supposed to protect us,” Javkin said in an interview with a local radio station.

He claimed that in the past two weeks he had “very strong discussions” with federal security forces demanding that they take action against crime in the city.

Where are the people responsible for looking after us? Javkin remarked. It’s very easy for any gang to carry out an attack like this, and it’s obvious that the people who have the weapons and the ability to investigate the criminals aren’t doing it.

Security Minister Anbal Fernández of the federal government stated that drug-related violence in the city had been going on for “the last 20 years,” making Thursday’s attack typical.

The drug traffickers “have won” in Rosario, he said, adding that “we have to reverse that.”

Politicians in the opposition have pointed the finger at President Alberto Fernández’s government for the ongoing violence in Rosario. In his predecessor’s words, these incidents serve as a warning that the country cannot “co-exist” with drug traffickers.

Messi, 35, is in the midst of contract negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain that will expire this year. There has been widespread speculation that the soccer superstar may retire and play for Newell’s, one of the local Rosario clubs.

Messi, who won FIFA’s best men’s player award this week, may join the Argentine national team for two friendly matches later this month. One is on March 23 in Buenos Aires against Panama, and the other is on March 28 in Santiago del Estero, five days later, against Curacao.