Admit it: Lionel Messi is incredible.
The Barcelona superstar has become one of the most recognisable figures in sport over the last 15 years and seems to have broken every record under the sun in European football.
As a result, there are no shortage of supporters who – regardless of their club allegiances – are self-confessed Messi fans and cheer him along through all his achievements.
So, it certainly wouldn’t be outrageous to see these types of fans splashing out on a Barcelona jersey, making a pilgrimage to Camp Nou or tweeting dramatic images of him.
However, most of us would probably draw a line at dedicating their wedding day to him. Well, that’s unless your names are Shibu Cletus and Jeena Sebastian.
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Wedding dedicated to Messi
The news emerged in The Times of India that the couple from Kerala had tied the knot on Messi’s birthday, deliberately holding back the ceremony until the date.
Cletus is such a diehard Messi fan that he has a photo of the Barcelona star in his wallet, has selected him as his mobile phone screensaver and has copious amounts of t-shirts of him.
Not only did Cletus reject his in-laws’ request for an immediate wedding, instead moving it back 11 months, but he went out of his way to make it football-themed.
There were 20 flex boards of players and two goalkeepers set up in the venue, featuring everyone from Pele to the late Emiliano Sala, as well as an entire goal and Cristiano Ronaldo cut-outs.
Cletus explained: “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 on June 24.
“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 for my plans.
“It was my dream to set up the venue as football ground and marry Jeena in front of Messi and other football players.
“When I shared my idea with my friends, they provided me full support and with the help of my ten friends, the venue of my wedding (CRFJ Hall, Thumpoly) was converted as football ground.
“For me, it is a dream wedding and I thank all my family members and friends who stood with me to conduct my wedding the ‘waka waka way.'”
It’s good to know that Cletus has his priorities in check.
Fair play to his wife for being so cooperative about the idea, which you’d expect from an episode of ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ and would have most fiancés throwing a tantrum.
Nevertheless, it seems as though Cletus had a pretty incredible time and wedding witnesses don’t get much better than David Beckham and Diego Maradona, albeit in cardboard form.
We wish the newly-weds a happy marriage and frankly, traditional wedding music should now take a backseat for Shakira’s ‘Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).’