Extra Time: Cassano names baby ‘Lionel’ after Messi

The Italian revealed his belief that the Argentina forward is "the best player in football history", and said he eventually convinced his wife that it was not such a bad idea

Inter forward Antonio Cassano has revealed that he has named his newborn son Lionel due to his “love” for Barcelona icon Lionel Messi.

The Argentine scored 91 goals in competitive matches in 2012 and won his fourth Ballon d’Or in a row, and the Nerazzurri star has said that his admiration for the attacker influenced the naming of his child.

“I named him Lionel because I’m a massive fan of the best player in history. My wife wasn’t keen, but then I convinced her,” he told Italian TV programme Undici.

“In my opinion, Messi is the most important player in history. I’m in love with him on a footballing level.”

Lionel, who was born on Monday night, is Cassano’s second son after his firstborn Christopher (perhaps Cassano’s version of Cristiano?!).

Extra Time thinks that it is probably a good thing that Cassano did not follow Gerard Pique’s formula of naming his son after a club the other side of the Mediterranean: Milan.

After all, Real Sociedad doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as Lionel, does it?