Maybe Argentina should look to Manuel Neuer to stop the country’s “Messi” situation.
The German goalkeeper was able to successfully shutout the prolific Argentinian striker in the World Cup final, but now Messi’s hometown is looking to shutout more people naming their sons after the F.C. Barcelona star.
The issue arose after Héctor Varela from the southern Argentinean city of Río Negro fought with authorities before being permitted to name his son Messi Daniel Varela. Fearing a deluge of little Messi’s running amok and applying for licenses in their teens, however, a civil servant in the striker’s hometown of Rosario has moved quickly to ensure the surname Messi won’t be appearing on birth certificates any time soon.
Gonzalo Carrillo, the director of the Civil Register of the Santa Fe province, has said that Messi is a surname and that it is “against the law” to use it as a first name as it may bring about confusion for record-keepers and police.
Carrillo did, however, acknowledge that the Río Negro case set a precedent as Messi Daniel Varela became the first Argentinian to have Messi as his first name.
"I am Messi's father,” Messi Daniel Varela’s father told local media. “Many people chose Lionel as a name for their sons after Messi, but this is more obvious.”
The Argentinian striker is not only having his namesake bestowed on children, but also on animals. Earlier this year the veterinary association of the Spanish region of Catalonia released figures that suggested 701 cats and dogs in the region are named after the footballer.