Barcelona has revealed the reason why Lionel Messi pulled out of the squad for Saturday’s La Liga match at Malaga. Messi’s wife Antonela Roccuzzo has given birth to their third son, Ciro.
Earlier on, the club had revealed that he had withdrawn from the game in Andalusia for “personal reasons”. Messi and Antonela, who got married last summer in their native Rosario, already had two sons, Thiago, 5, and Mateo, 2. Colombia defender Yerry Mina, a January signing from Palmeiras, replaces Messi, who will return for the midweek game against Chelsea.
Argentina international Messi has scored four goals in his last three league games for leaders Barca, who would go 11 points clear with victory at La Rosaleda. Barcelona are due to face Chelsea in the Champions League round of 16 second leg on Wednesday with the game poised at 1-1.
Messi scored his 600th career goal in the 1-0 win against title rivals Atletico Madrid last Saturday.