IT WAS always going to be hard to match Brooklyn and Romeo for creative Christian names but Victoria and David Beckham showed they were up to the challenge yesterday as they celebrated the birth of their third son - named Cruz.
The choice may reflect a thwarted desire by the couple to have a girl. A Spanish language expert at Oxford University last night said Cruz was an old-fashioned girl’s name - and called it a "stupid" choice for a boy.
The couple said they were "delighted" after a Caesarean section delivery in Madrid at 10:40am local time (9:40am GMT). The baby weighed 7lb.
Cruz means "cross" in Spanish, which may indicate the England and Real Madrid playmaker chose the name to echo his ability to deliver killer balls into the box.
Bookmakers William Hill immediately offered odds of 100/1 that Cruz Beckham will play for England one day and 1,000/1 that all three boys will get into the England team.
Asked about the name, David Beckham said it was "just a name we like". He added: "We found it hard this time but we found a name we liked and stuck with it."
Lola Oria, a Spanish tutor at Oxford University, said: "I think it is quite a stupid name, quite frankly. They will have problems in Spain because it will be seen as a name for girls. It is an old-fashioned girl’s name and also it is quite clearly Spanish and difficult to pronounce for an English-speaking person. It is quite a strange thing to do to a little boy."
She said the name Cruz was also commonly used as a surname in Spain.
Dr Clive Griffin, a lecturer in Latin American literature at the university, said he had never heard of Cruz being used as a boy’s forename. "Cruz translates as ‘cross’ as in a religious cross," he said. "You never know what echoes it has for them."
The couple named their first son Brooklyn after the New York borough where Victoria Beckham discovered she was pregnant while on a Spice Girls tour, while Romeo pays an unlikely homage to Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Brooklyn is now five and Romeo is two.
It has been suggested that a strange name could be an advantage in later life. According to one study, adults with more unusual forenames may get better jobs because their CVs stand out from the rest.
Cruz’s name could have been far worse. In 1996, a Swedish couple lost an appeal against a court ruling that forbade them spelling their five-year-old son’s name Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbbllll6, (pronounced Albin).
Celebrities have often chosen strange Christian names. Coldplay singer Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow named their baby daughter Apple, while Bob Geldof and Paula Yates called their girls Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches and Pixie.
Frank Zappa appeared to be on another planet when he called his daughter Moon Unit and one of his sons Dweezil.
Possible influences on naming new arrival
ARNOLD Schwarzenegger’s main rival in the election to be governor of California was Cruz Bustamante.
Actress Penelope Cruz, who was born in the Spanish capital, is known as the Madonna of Madrid. Outside her homeland, her nickname is the "Spanish enchantress".
Or perhaps former Spice Girl Victoria had music in mind when she named the boy - after legendary salsa queen Celia Cruz.
Either way the nation can brace itself for a rash of "Cruzes" among the Burberry- wearing classes.