Norwegian third-division side, IK Junkeren have signed Lionel Messi – a 16-year-old footballer – who changed his name to that of the Barcelona superstar.
Lionel Messi, previously known as Daniel Are Knutsen, made the bold decision to name himself after the Argentina captain and had the name change quickly approved.
He has also vowed to do his best to live up to his new name and believes his style of play is similar to that of the original Messi.
“I’ve had a plan for a while to change my name and I have Lionel Messi as my biggest idol. With my dedication to football, it made sense to try,” the Norwegian Messi told VG.
“I want to say that I try my best to play like him. Some similarities are certainly possible to see, but the talent is probably not as great.
“I have quite similar ball control and some speed.
“Those who know me from before still use the old first name, while new ones might call me Lionel or Leo.”