'Now I am Goku' - Former Man City and Barcelona B star Joan Roman announces unusual name change

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Former Manchester City youth winger Joan Roman has changed his name to Goku, the lead character from Japanese manga and anime series Dragon Ball.

The 27-year-old, who currently plays for Polish second division side Miedz Legnica, has already added his new name to his social media profiles and asked people to “respect” his decision, saying the name better reflects his personality and outlook on life.

"I am grateful to Joan for what I have lived, for all the positive things he left me, but now I am Goku,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I only ask for respect, as so many people are showing me. Always on the move, always forward.”

Dragon Ball is one of the most successful Japanese media franchises of all time, with its manga series sold in more than 40 countries and anime series broadcast in more than 80 countries since the early 1980s.

It tells the story of Goku from childhood through to adulthood, as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven magical orbs known as Dragon Balls.

“I chose this name because I feel I identify with what it represents for me: perseverance, empathy, growth in the face of obstacles, light and positivity,” he added.

Roman is in his second spell at Miedz Legnica having had a short spell with Greek side Panetolikos last season. He has made an impressive start to the new campaign, with three goals in three assists in his first five appearances.

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He began his youth career with local side Santes Creus in his native Catalonia before spells with Espanyol and Manchester City academies.

The winger then returned to Spain with Barcelona B as a 19-year-old in 2012, making 70 appearances for the club over three seasons, which also featured a loan spell at Villarreal.

He then left for Portuguese side Braga in 2015 and has had something of a nomadic career since, featuring loan spells at Nacional and Slask Wroclaw as well as a year-long stay at AEL Limassol before his first move to Miedz Legnica at the start of 2019.