Barcelona striker Lionel Messi may be one of the highest-profile
figures in Argentina but due to a 1969 statute in the South American
country, proud father Daniel Varela had to petition city authorities
to be granted an exception to the law.
"We told the authorities that he was our child and that we would
name him as we pleased. (A civil register official) said it wasn't
their problem and that I had to write a letter saying why I wanted
to give him that name and pay for a stamp," Varela said.
"We did that and finally (permission) arrived," he added while the
family showed off the boy's birth certificate with his full name,
Messi Daniel Varela.
The new-born has an older sister who would also have been called
Messi had she been born a boy.
"We have a daughter who is five years old that we were also going to
name Messi but she was a girl. At last, thanks to God, Messi arrived
- 15 days ago Messi arrived," said Varela who lives with his family
in General Roca in the Patagonian province of Rio Negro.
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Messi led Argentina to the World Cup final in Brazil in July where
they lost to Germany 1-0 after extra-time at the Maracana stadium in
Rio de Janeiro.
(Writing by Cayley Taylor; Editing by Rex Gowar and Toby Davis)
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