A COUPLE in Argentina have won the right to name their baby after Barcelona striker Lionel Messi.
Daniel Varela, 35, who lives in the central Argentine city of General Roca, vowed to name his first-born son for the footballer after seeing Messi playing for Argentina’s national youth team.
And despite strict rules outlawing parents giving their children surnames as first names, Varela was granted exemption by city authorities from the 1969 statute.
Officials accepted Varela’s request and issued a birth certificate for Messi Daniel Varela.
The father told the Clarin newspaper: “I saw Messi play on the under-17 team and he seemed like an amazing player. Later I learned he was a humble, good person and I thought, when I have a boy I’m going to name him Messi.”
His wife Lorena Sanchez added: “It seemed good to me because of the kind of person he is, and when we had our son we named him Messi because there are already tons of Lionels.”
Varela added that baby Messi would be his third child, and after two daughters and an eight-year wait, he wasn’t going to let the law stand in the way of him naming his first-born son after the mercurial Messi.