Leon Bailey insists son’s unique name is nothing to do with Messi and Ronaldo

Bayer Leverkusen star Leon Bailey has dismissed reports that he has named his newborn son after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 22-year-old and his girlfriend Stephanie Hope had their first child in June and named the boy Leo Cristiano.

Many suggested it was in honour of two of the players considered arguably the greatest of all time in Messi and Ronaldo.

But speaking in an interview with German outlet Bild Baily dismissed the rumours.

"It has nothing to do with football, but with me and my name," he said.

"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.

"Being a father changed me in many ways as a person, but not the way I play football. However, my son motivates me to work even harder."

Bailey, who hails from Jamaica, also opened up on his close relationship with his compatriot, the legendary sprinter Usain Bolt.

"Usain has been a very good and close friend of mine for years," he added.

"When in Jamaica I would never turn down an invitation from him. He's a kind of mentor for me, was always there for me in good and bad days."

There was speculation in the summer that Bailey could make a big-money move to the Premier League, with Manchester United and Arsenal among the clubs said to have been monitoring his situation.

But in the end nothing materialised and he stayed in Germany, where he has scored five goals and created four assists in ten appearances in all competitions so far this season.

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