Lionel Messi has appeared in Norway’s third division after signing for IK Junkeren.
It’s not what you think. A 16-year-old footballer has changed his name to that of the Barcelona and Argentina icon.
Daniel Are Knutsen is keen to follow in the footsteps of his idol and hopes the name change will help to see him carry that through.
“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 (h/t Goal) .
“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.”
The attacker will start out with Junkeren’s G16 side as he begins the long road to mirroring his hero, but the Norwegian club are keen to add Messi’s rival to the mix.
“I joked earlier that we have to look for Cristiano Ronaldo now,” Junkeren general manager Runar Bo Eriksen said.
“We know that there is a Ronaldo in the transfer market who has previously played at Fauske/Sprint, so we know he is out there.”
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