‘We’re Waiting For You’: World’s Greatest Soccer Star Receives Chilling Threat After Gunmen Attack
Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images

Soccer star Lionel Messi, 35, who is thought by some to be the greatest soccer player of all time, received a chilling threat after police say two gunmen opened fire at a grocery owned by his wife’s family.

Two men reportedly fired at least a dozen shots at a Unico supermarket in Rosario, Argentina, Argentina’s third-largest city, early Thursday morning, police said. They left a message behind written on cardboard at the store owned by the family of Messi’s wife, Antonella Roccuzzo.

“Messi, we’re waiting for you. [Mayor Pablo] Javkin is also a drug trafficker, so he won’t take care of you,” the message stated.

Prosecutor Federico Rébola said a “preliminary” investigation into the incident had been launched. Javkin visited the crime scene after the incident and criticized federal authorities for their failure to stop violence related to drugs in Rosario.

“I doubt everyone, even those who are supposed to protect us,” he told reporters, adding, “Where are the ones who need to take care of us?”

“It’s clear that those who have the weapons and have the possibility of investigating the criminals aren’t doing it, and it’s very easy for any gang to carry out something like this,” he said.

In December, Messi led the Argentinian team to its first World Cup championship in 36 years in Qatar. Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award, emblematic of the world’s greatest player, a record seven times. Although he has a home in Rosario’s suburb Funes, Messi is often overseas.

“With the mafia attack on the Roccuzzo family’s business, knowing that it will be an event of global significance, the aim is to instill terror in the population and unease in those of us who are in the battle against criminal violence. It is, neither more nor less, the definition of terrorism,” tweeted Celia Arena, the justice minister for Santa Fe province, where Rosario is located.

“In a situation of this scale, unifying efforts is not an alternative: it is an obligation,” she continued. “As has already been said on countless occasions, Rosario lives in an exceptional situation that demands exceptional responses. There are successful antecedents that allow guiding the action.”

“In 2014, a massive landing of federal forces was ordered to occupy the territories hardest hit by drug violence. That pacification operation had positive results, even celebrated by the provincial government of that time. That is the way we need,” she concluded.

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