Lionel Messi to miss Barcelona match for ‘personal reasons’

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi looks on during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Girona FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on February 24, 2018.(AFP)
Updated 10 March 2018

Lionel Messi to miss Barcelona match for ‘personal reasons’

BARCELONA: Lionel Messi announced that he and his wife Antonella Roccuzzo had become parents for a third time on Saturday.
"Welcome Ciro!!! Thank God, everything went perfectly. He and his mummy are doing very well. We are super happy!!!" wrote Messi on his Instagram account, accompanying the post with a photo of the baby's hand.
Ciro is a brother to five-year-old Thiago and Mateo, who is two.
Messi had pulled out of Barcelona's squad for Saturday's La Liga match at Malaga to be present for the birth.
The club tweeted: "Change to the squad. Messi is out for personal reasons and Yerry Mina takes his place."
The Argentinian couple, both 30, first met in their home town, Rosario, in 1996 and started going out a decade later. They were married last year in Rosario.
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.


LaLiga Academy UAE launches 2020/2021 season at new home at Dubai Sports City

Updated 31 min 14 sec ago

LaLiga Academy UAE launches 2020/2021 season at new home at Dubai Sports City

  • Over the past three seasons, Liga Academy UAE has changed the face of youth football training in the nation

DUBAI: LaLiga Academy UAE, developed by Spain's LaLiga, announced on Tuesday the launch of its 2020/2021 season, welcoming all players at its brand-new home at Dubai Sports City.

Over the past three seasons, Liga Academy UAE has changed the face of youth football training in the nation, with over 2,000 male and female players learning to play football the LaLiga way.

With the move, LaLiga Academy is bringing LaLiga’s global brand to Dubai Sports City, along with its superior youth football training program, executed to the Spanish league’s high standards, and with the same methodology that has developed the world’s best football players.

Moreover, the Football Academy at Dubai Sports City will be upgraded as a result of the LaLiga Academy high professional standards, offering young players the same training and development curriculum and methodology used at LaLiga clubs and delivered by a team of highly qualified LaLiga UEFA-Pro certified coaches.

Maite Ventura, LaLiga’s Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa said, commenting on the announcement: “With the move of LaLiga Academy, we are delighted to bring LaLiga’s brand and gold standard in training to Dubai Sports City, harnessing the venue’s world-class facilities. This reflects our commitment to advance youth football in the UAE, and we are confident that the Academy’s football program delivered to the highest standards at the hands of our LaLiga coaches, will create a pipeline of professional players right from the Academy.”

Hussein Murad, CEO of Inspiratus Consulting LLC, the sports management agency for LaLiga Academy said: “We are delighted to announce Dubai Sports City, which boasts one of the region’s best sports facilities, as the new home of LaLiga Academy in Dubai, in line with our mission to offer young players an immersive and professional football academy experience with a LaLiga high-level training and development program.”

He added: “In three short years, LaLiga Academy has established itself as a football academy in a league of its own, powered by LaLiga, and we look forward to continue growing in line with the UAE’s goals to elevate the standard of football in the nation.”

Open to boys and girls from 4 to 17 years of all abilities, LaLiga Academy, delivers the highest standard of Spanish football training, while providing a pathway to professional football careers and scholarships to top universities. Players will improve their football skills and develop their technical, tactical, physical, social and mental abilities through age-specific coaching sessions and personalized development programs.