Fans are absolutely stunned after finding out the real reason and meaning behind Lionel Messi’s name.
Lionel Messi is one of the most individual and iconic names in sports alongside the likes of Usain Bolt, Michael Jordan, and Cristiano Ronaldo, but there was actually significant outside influence when naming the Argentine.
It is understood that Messi was actually named after American pop icon Lionel Richie due to Messi’s parents being huge fans of the singer of ‘Hello’ and ‘All Night Long’.
Richie’s double-platinum album ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ is said to be one of the main factors behind the name, as it was released one year before the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner was born.
The pop star actually confirmed these rumours to be true during an interview in 2014, where he addressed the connection to Messi.
Richie said: “It’s gonna happen [Richie meeting with Messi] because I’m quite honoured. They named him after me, how about that? I love it.”
The 71-year-old singer also publically gave his support to Messi in 2016 following Argentina’s loss in the Copa America final.