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Infant Thiago already a star

Buenos Aires/ Glasgow: The infant son of Barcelona star Lionel Messi has already been signed up as a member of Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys, where Messi played at youth level before leaving for Barcelona.

Newell’s said Thursday that the membership for young Thiago, had been initiated by Messi’s grandfather, Jorge. Lionel Messi was born in the Argentine city of Rosario, located some 300 kilometers (200 miles) northwest of Buenos Aires and remains a fan of Newell’s, his hometown team.

Newell’s is in the midst of one of its best seasons in memory, sitting on top of the Argentine first division under new coach Gerardo Martino. Martino coached Paraguay to the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Meanwhile, Barcelona’s players reacted calmly to Wednesday’s surprise defeat at Celtic when the favourites squandered a chance to qualify from Group G with two games to spare.

Barca suffered only the second defeat of the season in Glasgow, the other a 1-2 loss to arch-rivals Real Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup in August.

However, they remain top of the group on nine points, two ahead of Celtic in second.

Benfica have four points and Spartak Moscow are bottom on three after the Portuguese side won 2-0 at home to the Russians on Wednesday.

Messi said that that even after the loss the team are relaxed.

“We are still in first place and we are relaxed,” Messi, who netted in added time and earlier struck the frame of the goal, said.

“I think we did everything well, we got into goal-scoring positions but the ball just didn’t go in,” added the Argentine.

“They were comfortable closing ranks in defence, waiting for a chance to counterattack, a corner or a free-kick and that’s how they managed to score the two goals.”

Barca coach Tito Vilanova and his players were generally gracious in defeat and there was a sense they had even enjoyed the electric atmosphere at Celtic Park despite the defeat.

(Agencies)