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.


Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian Grand Prix

Updated 04 July 2020

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian Grand Prix

  • The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by .012 seconds

SPIELBERG, Austria: Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on Saturday to take pole position for Formula One’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by .012 seconds at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third place and Lando Norris giving McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here.
Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.
Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.
Ferrari struggled for speed, with Charles Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.
Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.
Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.
Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.