Soccer-inspired baby names


Are you a soccer fan? Below are some of the names that have debuted in the U.S. baby name data thanks to soccer players.


The baby name Pele debuted as a boy name in 1975 thanks to Brazilian soccer player Edson Arantes do Nascimento, aka Pelé. He joined the New York Cosmos in 1975 and helped them become the NASL champions in 1977.

  • 1977: unlisted
  • 1976: unlisted
  • 1975: 5 baby boys named Pele [debut]
  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: unlisted


The baby name Eder debuted in 1982 because of Brazilian soccer player Éder Aleixo de Assis, who played for Brazil in the 1982 World Cup.

  • 1984: 28 baby boys named Eder
  • 1983: 37 baby boys named Eder
  • 1982: 48 baby boys named Eder [debut]
  • 1981: unlisted
  • 1980: unlisted


The baby name Josimar debuted in 1986 thanks to Brazilian soccer player Josimar Higino Pereira, who played for Brazil in the 1986 World Cup.

  • 1988: unlisted
  • 1987: 6 baby boys named Josimar
  • 1986: 10 baby boys named Josimar [debut]
  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: unlisted


The trendy baby name Xavi was probably inspired by Spanish soccer player Xavier “Xavi” Hernández. Though I can’t link the name’s debut to any particular event, I can tell you that the name saw peak usage in 2010 and 2011, at the height of Xavi’s career.

  • 2007: 21 baby boys named Xavi
  • 2006: 18 baby boys named Xavi
  • 2005: 6 baby boys named Xavi [debut]
  • 2004: unlisted
  • 2003: unlisted


The baby name Sneijder debuted in 2008 thanks to Dutch soccer player Wesley Sneijder, who played in the Euro 2008.

  • 2010: 14 baby boys named Sneijder
  • 2009: 5 baby boys named Sneijder
  • 2008: 10 baby boys named Sneijder [debut]
  • 2007: unlisted
  • 2006: unlisted

Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: SSA

Image by Emilio Garcia from Unsplash

5 thoughts on “Soccer-inspired baby names

  1. I think the Top 1000 position of Iker & Cristiano is mostly owed to the namesake footballers.

    On the long list I spotted Zlatan & Messi. It would be interesting to know if the popularity of Lionel has increased thanks to the latter.

  2. Hi,

    Can I check if the examples you give above are country specific to the nationality of the player?

  3. Hi Craig,

    All of the babies listed above are U.S. babies. I don’t know of any quick way to check the ethnicity/heritage of each one. (Is that what you’re asking?)

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