Messi announces arrival of third child after withdrawing from Barca squad

Leo Messi Barcelona GironaLLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images

Lionel Messi has announced the arrival of his third child after Barcelona had announced earlier in the day that he had withdrawn from the squad to face Malaga.

The Blaugrana alerted the public early in the day on Saturday that their star player would not make the trip to La Rosaleda with the rest of the squad, stating only that the Argentine would not feature in the Liga clash due to 'personal reasons', with centre-back Yerry Mina taking his place in the squad.

Messi announced in October of 2017 that his wife, Antonella, was pregnant again, leading fans to suspect that the birth of his third child was the reason for his exclusion from the squad.

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The 30-year-old has since confirmed those suspicions, taking to Instagram to let fans know that his newborn son, named Ciro, and the child's mother had both come through with no issues and that his family are all happy and healthy: “Welcome Ciro! Thank God everything went perfect. Mom and he are very well. We are super happy!”

Messi already had two sons, Mateo and Thiago.

As for Barcelona, the Catalan side will likely not be too hindered by the Argentine's absence as they have plenty of quality to call upon – including the likes of star youngster Ousmane Dembele – as they travel to face a Malaga side that sit rock bottom of La Liga having picked up only 13 points from 27 games.

The Camp Nou side remain well on course to be named champions of the Spanish top flight, boasting an eight-point gap between themselves and second-placed Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid remain in third place.

Messi himself, meanwhile, has enjoyed another standout season for Barca in 2017-18, with 32 goals netted in just 41 appearances.