Where Is Rosario – The City That Bans Parents Naming Their Babies Messi
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You know what it's like, a superstar is all over the news and suddenly, every baby born is named after them. There are suburbs in Dublin with kids answering to the names of Pocahontas, Beyonce, Rihanna and Pitbull. The people of Rosario, the city of Lionel Messi's birthplace, have seemingly been clamouring to follow suit and name their kids after the Barcelona legend.

Where is Rosario?

Rosario is a city/town with a large population in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina which is located in the continent/region of South America.

Located less than 300 miles away from the capital, Buenos Aires, Rosario, a village-like community in the city, has left a significant influence on Argentinian football.

Rosario isn’t as gorgeous as Mendoza, nor will it take your breath away like Bariloche, but it vies with La Plata to be considered Argentina’s second city.

What Rosario does offer is culture, history and nightlife for fun-loving travelers or study abroad students.

Argentina’s third largest city, with a population of over 1.3 million people, Rosario is a port city situated on the Paraña River.

The smallish population and position on the water ensure that the ‘Rosarinos,’ as the locals are known, are a bit more laid back and outdoorsy than their Buenos Aires counterparts.

There are some lovely walks along the Rosario’s 15k costanera, or riverfront, where visitors can get some exercise, sip some mate and gaze upon the water.

Home to many football stars

Along with Barcelona legend Messi, Rosario is also the birthplace of some notable Argentine players like Paris Saint Germain’s Angel di Maria, combative midfielder Ever Banega, full back Cristian Ansaldi and midfielder Giovani lo Celso.

Besides the aforementioned booters, other prominent names include Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi and former midfielder Maxi Rodriguez.

Di Maria often expresses love for his beloved Rosario

All of these players spent their youth career in Rosario where the fiercest city rivalry between Newell’s Old Boys and Rosario Central only ranks second behind the most anticipated city rivalry in Argentinian football, Boca Juniors v River Plate.

Renowed managers Marcelo “El Loco” Bielsa and Gerardo “Tata” Martino also hail from the city.

How to get around Rosario

Getting around Rosario by bus

Rosario’s bus system is cheap and easy to use, with bus numbers clearly marked and route maps at most bus stops. Cash fares are $19.70, but you can only pay with $1 or $2 coins (no change). If you intend to use buses a lot, get a stored-value card (MOVI or tarjetamagnética; minimum value $25; fares $18.28) – there’s a booth selling them at the bus terminal. You can also buy them at the Centro Municipal at Wheelwright 1486 and in the centre at Santa Fe 1055.

Getting around Rosario by taxi

Taxis are easy to hail on the street; the meter starts at $53, adding $2.65 every 100m (Mon–Sat 10pm–6am, and all day Sun/hols, the rate jumps to $60.56 plus $3 every 100m). Most trips across the centre should be no more than $150–200.

Getting around Rosario by bike

Tourists can use the Mi Bici Tu Bici bike share scheme (with stations all over the city) through the website or associated app. The daily rate is $23.63 but each trip is limited to 30min before you have to dock and check out again.

READ MORE: World Cup 2022: 100% Accurate Prediction of the Winner - Argentina

What to do in Rosario

Confident and stylish, with a vibrant cultural scene and a lively nightlife, Rosario dominates the whole region. With a little over 1.2 million inhabitants, it is Argentina’s third-biggest city – Córdoba just beats it to second place. However, Rosario likes to see itself as the most worthy rival to Buenos Aires, 300km southeast – in some ways it is a far smaller version of the capital, but without the hordes of foreign visitors or the political clout. It’s also the birthplace of two global superstars, football sensation Lionel Messi and revolutionary hero Che Guevara.

Kayaking and cycling

Two great ways to explore Rosario and the surrounding area are either cycling around the city, or kayaking on the Paraná river. Kayaks can be rented either individually or as part of a group tour, and are a great way to escape the city for a while and see some local wildlife in the Paraná Delta. Renting a bike is also a great way to get around the city quickly and see all the sights, especially when with a guide who can provide some local insight.

Museo Histórico Provincial

Located right in the middle of the Parque Independencia is Rosario’s main history museum. It is home to a number of excellent exhibits, ranging from indigenous artifacts to post-colonial religious displays, as well as an intriguing display of mate-related items (mate is a traditional regional drink). The exhibits are well presented, and the design of the museum is modern and accessible for all ages. It is also conveniently located next to the Newell’s Old Boys football stadium, which is also worth a look in if it is open – but the museum is closed on matchdays.

Entre Ríos 480

Fans of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara will be keen to make their pilgrimage to the revolutionary’s birthplace, an apartment building in the central district of the city – although he only lived there for a short time. It is owned privately, so visitors cannot enter, but it is a well known attraction around the city so it will not be surprising to see tourists taking photos of it. Entre Ríos 480 is an attractive neo-classical building, as is much of the other architecture in the city, so it can be easily passed by by those who might not know the significance of it.

Rosario’s Parks

In a busy city like Rosario, green parks make a much needed change from the crowds. Rosario is home to a number of parks where visitors can take some time out to go for a walk of just relax. Parque Independencia is the largest, with a lake, fountains, various gardens, follies, and food vendors. Visitors can rent a paddle boat to take out onto the lake, a perfect activity for a sunny afternoon. Also within the park are the football stadium and history museum, as well as a fun children’s play area (Jardín de los Niños). Parque de España is by the river, which makes for a pleasant walk, as does Parque Urquiza.

What to eat in Rosario

Rosario has plenty of restaurants to suit all budgets, both in the city centre and along the Costanera. There are some excellent freshwater fish restaurants specialising in boga, dorado (not related to the saltwater fish) and catfish-like surubí, but look out also for the “Carlitos”. This toasted sandwich – invented here and mostly served in bars – is basically a combination of ham, cheese, olives and (crucially) ketchup, and it has a cult status among rosarinos.

Rosario nightlife

Rosario is noted for its nightlife, la movida, but its clubs can be a little disappointing. In summer, when all the action moves to the Rambla Catalunya, you’re limited to one or two very popular but faceless mega-discos, whose names but not character change with the seasons. The city’s popular milongas offer a more authentic experience: Rosario has a hard core of tango enthusiasts – who dance a slightly showier version of the dance than Porteños – and most nights of the week there is something going on. The tourist office should have a list of current milongas.

Why are parents banned from naming their kids Messi in Rosario?

Where Is Rosario – The City That Bans Parents Naming Their Babies Messi
Photo CNN

If you live in Rosario, Argentina, you absolutely cannot name your baby "Messi." Supposedly, you can buy a $5.25 million golden replica of his foot, or tattoo his jersey on your back. But you can't use his name for your newborn child.

A law has been passed by officials in Rosario to prevent parents from giving their child the first name Messi. The reason is unclear - something has been mentioned about not wanting to use a family name as a first name - but we can only assume that the city wishes to protect the identity of their most famous son.

In a country where football is considered the most popular sport like Argentina, it is not surprising that the names of Lionel or Messi appear on countless birth certificates.

According to Mundo Deportivo, this law was enacted in the hope that it will help public agencies reduce confusion in the procedure when there are too many children with the same name.

In other regions such as Rio Negro, if parents want to name their child's middle name or last name with the name of the number 10 striker, they need to get permission from the local authorities.

The popularity of Lionel Messi in the Catalan will be remembered for decades to come. Thanks to Messi, many children are named Leo.

The Barcelona captain has the honor of having many babies named after his nickname, Leo.

The Catalan Statistics Institute revealed that 500 children born in 2019 were named Leo, accounting for 8.22 percent of all newborn boys.

Then there was the name Mark, with 622, the most popular male name.

Messi's impact was obvious. In 2010, only 136 children were born named Leo. Compare this with the number 433 in 2017.

What names are banned in other countries?

In New Zealand, besides regulations on avoiding naming obscene names, contrary to the public interest, some other names are also banned such as Lucifer (the name of the demon lord of hell in the Bible), Fish and Chips (the name of the British dish of fried fish with chips). The most unique and strange name that is "rumored" to be banned is "Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii" (translated as Talula dancing Hula from Hawaii).

In Mexico, there are a number of banned names such as Facebook, Rambo, Hermione, Batman, etc. According to the authorities, this ban is intended to protect children from being bullied and teased for having weird names.

In Portugal, the government has released an 82-page list of acceptable and unacceptable names, including some banned names such as Nirvana, Rihanna, Jimmy, Viking.

In Sweden, people are advised not to name their children Superman.

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