Argentina authorities look to stop any more children being called 'Messi'

A child has been named after the Barcelona forward, leading to concerns there could be more

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Super fans of Lionel Messi who wish to name their children after the Barcelona star will be prohibited from doing so in the forward's home city.

The issue of naming a newborn baby after the Argentina international has been raised after a man from Río Negro, in the south of the country, battled with authorities before being permitted to name his son Messi Daniel Varela.

However, an Argentina civil servant has moved quickly to ensure there aren't a deluge of children in Rosario, the forward's home city, with Messi as their first name.

The director of the Civil Register of the Santa Fe province, Gonzalo Carrillo, has said Messi is a surname and is not permitted to be used as a forename. According to Barcelona newspaper Marca, the director insisted it was "against the law" as it may bring about confusion. Carrillo did however concede that the registration of Messi as a first name in the province of Río Negro could set a precedent.

The naming of the child in Río Negro was the first Argentinian to be called Messi and as such has led to something of a fuss. The father was quoted: "I am Messi's father. Many people chose Lionel as a name for their sons after Messi, but this is more obvious".

It is not only children that fans are wanting to lend the Messi name to. Earlier this year, Catalonia's veterinary association released figures that suggested 701 cats and dogs in the region are named after the footballer.