The reason behind Lionel Messi’s first name has baffled fans, it’s blown their minds

The reason behind Lionel Messi's first name has baffled fans, it's blown their minds

Featured Image Credit: Getty and Lionel Messi

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.

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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.

Messi missing penalty- Getty
Messi missing penalty- Getty

The final against Chile went all the way to penalties but it was Messi who took the heavy weight of responsibility for the loss as he missed his penalty in quite an emphatic fashion, blasting the ball well over the bar.

Following the match Richie sent Messi this message: “Yes, Lionel, just make it easy like Sunday morning. Don’t get all out of shape here. If I told you how many times I lost at the Grammies and it only made me do one thing – get better.

“So, I’m not even worried about my namesake – he’s going to be just fine. He’s a winner obviously. I’m sure he’s down right now but he’s a Lionel, he can’t go wrong.”

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