Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi Reuters

Barcelona soccer star and World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi, became a father for the first time after his girlfriend, Antonella Rocuzzo, gave birth to a baby boy on Friday.

The celebrity duo has named the baby Thiago Messi.

"Today I am the happiest man in the world, my son was born and thanks to God for this gift! Thanks to my family for the support! A hug to everyone," an excited new dad Lionel Messi announced the birth of his first child on his Facebook page.

The Barcelona club website also confirmed the news of baby's birth through a brief statement which said,"Leo Messi is a father." "Later on Friday afternoon, his girlfriend Antonella Rocuzzo gave birth to Thiago Messi, the couple's first child."

Messi, who was earlier rumoured to have relationship with models Luciana Slazar and Macarena Lemos had been dating Antonella since 2009.

Rumours were rife that the duo would get married in 2010 but an abrupt report of their breakup by Messi's grandfather put an end to the marriage speculation untill Messi publicly denied his grandfather's claim.

Later, in a recent interview with Spanish newspaper EI Pais, Messi revealed that he was going to be a father soon.

"I'm prepared for Thiago's arrival, it is very exciting," CNN IBN quoted him. "It makes you think of things in a different way. You can no longer just think about yourself, you think about him, and how you hope he doesn't have any problems."

According to reports Messi, 25, did not attend the Friday's final training sessions for the Spanish league match against Celta Vigo to attend the birth of his son along with his family members.

It is reported that the Argentina forward would play the match on Saturday against Celta Vigo at Camp Nou stadium. Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova in a press conference said, "If everything goes well, he will come to play. It doesn't change our plans at all that he didn't train today."

While speculations of Thiago's birth were made by various Spanish News media, the reports were affirmed after Jorge, Messi's father, informed an Argentine news agency of the baby's birth.