Messi Misses Barca Match For ‘Personal Reasons’

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi looks on during the Spanish League “Clasico” football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. PHOTO: OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP

Lionel Messi has pulled out of Barcelona’s squad for Saturday’s La Liga match at Malaga with reports saying the birth of his third child is imminent.

The club tweeted: “Change to the squad. Messi is out for personal reasons and Yerry Mina takes his place.”

Messi’s wife Antonella Roccuzzo is expecting a boy, a brother to five-year-old Thiago and Mateo, who is two. The child is expected to be called Ciro.

The Argentinian couple, both 30, first met as children in 1996. Their relationship began a decade later.

Barcelona, who face Chelsea in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, have an eight-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga.


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