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'Married in front of Messi' - Football fan dictates wedding around Barcelona star

04:42 GMT+3 27/06/2019
Lionel Messi
"It was a dream wedding..."

A football fan in India has deliberately waited nearly a year to hold his wedding to ensure the date coincided with Lionel Messi's birthday.  

Shibu Cletus got married on June 24, the same day Messi turned 32, with the football fanatic telling his fiance and her parents in July last year that they'd have to wait to tie the knot to ensure the date lined up with the Barcelona star's own big day.

"My engagement was on July 15, 2018. Though the parents and family of Jeena demanded to conduct the wedding soon, I told them they have to wait till the birthday of Messi," Shibu was quoted by the Times of India.

"Jeena, who doesn't have much knowledge about football, agreed it.

"She told me she was completely ready to wait for the birthday of Messi and provided full support of my plans."

Having waited nearly a year to get married, the ceremony then took place in front of Messi himself - albeit a cardboard cutout of the Argentine.

With the entire wedding venue transformed into a football pitch, Messi was joined by cardboard cutouts of other football greats including Pele and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

"It was my dream to set up the venue as (a) football ground and marry Jeena in front of Messi and other football players," Shibu said.

"Football is everything for me. It was a dream wedding and I thank all my family members and friends who stood with me to conduct my wedding." 

Shibu employed the help of 10 friends to transform the venue of the wedding into his football dream with the 27-year-old now one of very few people who can say they tied the knot in front of Messi. 

Let's just hope his wife doesn't become a Ronaldo fan anytime soon.