According to Rosario newspaper Diario La Capital, one in every 70 babies registered in December in Lionel Messi's home province of Santa Fe is named “Lionel” or “Lionela.” That's a 700% increase versus previous monthly data for new baby names.
Of course, there will be only one Leo Messi, even if the icon has three sons sharing the same DNA.
In 2014, Messi's hometown of Rosario allegedly banned parents from naming their children “Messi.” Government officials claimed that using Messi's last name as a given name would cause a census reporting mess.
Lionel Messi is officially on par with the late great Maradona regarding respect and admiration in Argentina. Maradona led Argentina to their second World Cup title in 1986, with Messi wrapping up the country's third in Qatar.