Picture this: You’re expecting your first child, you and your partner are having the “what do we name it?” chat, and your partner then suggests to name the child Ronaldo in honor of the Portuguese striker. How would you react? Well, according to new research, this almost-laughable phenomenon of naming your offspring after your favorite athlete is a lot more common than previously expected.
We live in a time where footballers are just as influential as politicians, fashion icons, and movie stars, maybe even more so. This speculation is confirmed by the recent news that a Bolivian couple named their newborn son Griezmann Mbappe after the French international players Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.
I’m naming my first born Mohamed Salah. I don’t care if it’s a boy or girl.
— – (@AnfieldRd96) November 18, 2017
Just how deep the rabbithole goes was confirmed in recent research by liverugbytickets.co.uk, which measured the top 100 footballers and the most popular names globally, concluding that the most popular footballer inspired baby name is Salah with over 1.2 million people bearing the name around the globe.
Seemingly the Egyptian footballer’s influence knows no bounds, as he’s adored by millions globally and regionally. With a unique influence in Egypt, namely in 2017, it was reported that 1.7 million Egyptian voters cast their votes bearing Mohamed Salah’s name for the presidential election the following year.
Ronaldo came in second place with over nearly half a million people globally bearing his name. Being one of the most influential players of all time, it’s understandable as to why some football-loving fathers might want to name their newborn after their hero, with the vain hope in them following in Cristiano’s footsteps.
Coming in third place is the name Silva, which in all honesty is a great choice, with Thiago Silva, Bernardo Silva, and David Silva all sharing the same surname.
Messi and Maradona are 21st and 23rd on the list, respectively, while Grealish comes in last with only one person bearing his name– perhaps a few more goals could see him climb the ranks.
With football ever evolving and changing, it’s interesting to see if the trend will continue. One might expect Benzema to be topping the chart next year, after recently being awarded the Ballon D’or, making him the second Arab footballer to ever win the award.
Call it freak chance, but for me, it seems obvious why there’s nine months in a football season, after all.