Lionel Messi has sparked a 3900% rise in Catalan babies being named 'Leo'

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Lionel Messi might as well be considered a god in Barcelona.

What the Argentine has achieved at Camp Nou goes beyond comprehension and many consider him the greatest footballer in history.

Nobody could have imagined that, when he first pulled on the Barcelona jersey in 2004, he would become the club's all-time top-scorer and win a record five Ballon d'Or titles along the way.

Not only that, but his advancing age hasn't slammed the brakes on his brilliance and Messi is actually enjoying one of the most impressive seasons of his entire career.

The 31-year-old looks set to win another European Golden Shoe and although Champions League success has evaded him, he should complete a clean sweep of domestic trophies.

Messi's impact in Catalonia 

Naturally, he has established himself as the best player in Europe based on statistics, amassing a phenomenal record of 34 goals and 13 assists in league football alone.

Messi is nothing short of an icon in the Catalan capital and you're never far away from stalls selling jerseys with his name printed on the back.

And given the reception he often experiences with Argentina, it would be safe to say he's actually more appreciated in his adopted home as opposed to the one of his birth.

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Rise in baby Leo's

Want anymore evidence? Well, a rather remarkable statistic has emerged in Mundo Deportivo that suggests Messi has even made an impact on Catalonia's demographics.

That's because the name 'Leo' has experienced a 3927.27% rise since Messi made his debut, suggesting that babies in the region are being named after the Barcelona star.

Considering only four babies were named 'Leo' in 2004 and as many as 443 were called it in 2017, we're pretty sure it isn't a coincidence.

In fact, it has now become the 12th most popular boy's name in Catalonia, having been virtually extinct less than 15 years previously. Check out the full graphs down below:


From the Camp Nou pitch to the maternity ward, Messi is making his impact.

Messi is one of the most famous human beings on the planet, never mind Catalonia, so it's no surprise that some parents want to name their child after such a talented individual.

Either that or his impact on Catalan culture has been so vast that the name 'Leo' has simply entered the conversation again.

Besides, we technically don't know how many babies are being called 'Lionel', which would give a much clearer indication that Messi was the inspiration. 

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Even one of the greatest footballers in history can't conquer this particular list, though, with the likes of 'Marc', 'Alex' and 'Pol' remaining the most popular options.

Forget the Champions League and Ballon d'Or, perhaps Messi should push for more goals to help spread the growing community of Leo's...

Do you think Messi is the greatest player in history? Have your say in the comments section below.

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