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Leon Bailey Insists Son's Unique Name Is Not To Do With Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo

Leon Bailey Insists Son's Unique Name Is Not To Do With Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo

Leon Bailey has claimed that naming his son "Leo Cristiano" is not a tribute to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bayer Leverkusen's Jamaica international was speaking to German media outlet Bild and claimed it was actually all to do with lions and, well, being lovely. Let's hear from him.

"It has nothing to do with football, but with me and my name," explained Bailey. "Leo is an abbreviation of Leon. And Leo is the lion - I am a lion.

"I believe that my son also grows up with the mentality of being a fighter and a leader. And Cristiano is a lovely name that goes well with Leo."

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So you had us with the Leo/Leon thing... but the reasons for Cristiano are a bit more vague. Let's be honest, the 23-year-old - who's been in fine form this season, scoring five goals in 11 games - has to know what he was doing when he called his son "Leo Cristiano".

People will immediately assume it's a nod to the two greatest footballers of their era. But Bailey is standing firm that the name is nothing to do with the beautiful game.

"Being a father changed me in many ways as a person, but not the way I play football," added Bailey, whose child with partner Stephanie Hope was born in June. "However, my son motivates me to work even harder."

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Fair enough, we believe you for now - though if Bailey calls his next child "Diego Armando Pele" then we will definitely know he's up to something. I.e. trying to produce the greatest footballer ever by cunning use of names.

Speaking of GOATs, Bailey also told Bild about his friendship with sprinting legend Usain Bolt.

"Usain has been a very good and close friend of mine for years," he explained. "When in Jamaica I would never turn down an invitation from him. He's a kind of mentor for me [and] was always there for me in good and bad days."

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With a proud father and honorary "Uncle Usain" looking out for him, things are clearly looking good for baby Leo Cristiano - whatever the true inspiration for his name may be.

All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Football News, Football, Bayer Leverkusen, Jamaica, Lionel Messi, Leon Bailey, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bundesliga, Usain Bolt

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Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.