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At least eight bullets hit the house of Lionel Messi's brother Matias in a Friday night attack, although no-one was injured in the shooting...

The brother and mother of Barcelona star Lionel Messi narrowly avoided tragedy over the weekend, when Matias Messi's Rosario house was attacked by unidentified gunmen.

La Capital reports that the attack occurred at the house where Matias currently lives, at the same time as his mother was visiting from her own dwelling some 100 metres down the street.

Two men on a motorbike pulled up outside the house on the south side of Rosario and opened fire with a 9mm pistol, leaving at least eight bullet holes in the walls and gates as well as several in neighbouring properties, according to witnesses in the area.

Despite the hail of gunfire nobody inside the house was hurt, and the assailants took off immediately afterwards. The motives for the shooting are unknown, and Messi's neighbours were quick to defend him and his family against any suggestion of unsavoury dealings.

"The kids are all lovely, the sister-in law, the children, Messi's brother, all lovely people," one lady who didn't wish to be identified asserted to the newspaper. Another specified that the attack occurred around 11pm on Friday evening and her shop was hit three times, but nothing else happened.

So far there has been no comment on the situation from the Messi family or Rosario police.

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