Why has Messi been banned in his own hometown of Rosario?

Lionel Messi may be one of the greatest footballers ever but a rule in his hometown of Rosario prohibits parents from naming their newborn babies after the Barcelona star

Lionel Messi, may go down in history as one of the greatest footballers ever, but that hasn't stopped his hometown of Rosario in Argentina from passign a law preventing parents from naming their children "Messi."

According to a report in Spanish publication Marca has quoted Gonzalo Carrillo, the civil register in Santa Fe, as saying, it is "prohibited by law" to name babies Messi -- because it is a surname and not a first name.

In his homeland, Messi is savoured as a god-like figure after coming close to leading Argentina to World Cup glory this summer. Pic/AFP

Acording to another pblication, Mundo Deportivo, officials are worried that allowing people to name their children 'Messi' would lead to a flood of babies being named after the Argentine superstar and that could “lead to confusion.”

It comes after a father in a different province reportedly named his child after the 27-year-old four-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Hector Varela, recently named his son 'Messi Daniel Varela', after getting special permission in the Rio Negro region, which was granted after two weeks.

Hector Varela told Marca: "I am Messi's father. Many people chose Lionel as a name for their sons after Messi, but this is more obvious.

"I am proud to be the first Argentinian to name his baby after the best soccer player in the world."

Interestingly, parents are still allowed to name their children after Diego Maradona.

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