Kozhikode: A young married couple from Kerala’s Malappuram has become the overnight darling of football fans across the world. The reason — they named their newborn son Mehd Ozil, after English football club Arsenal FC’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil.
The club, on Friday, uploaded a video on their social media accounts titled ‘A story of a special young fan from Kerala’, which has till now been viewed by more 1,75,000 users.
Soon after Inzamam's wife, Fida Sanam, gave birth to a baby boy on December 29 last year, the die-hard Arsenal fan chose to name after his favourite player Mezut Ozil. He made a slight change in the first name to match with a meaningful Arabic word.
Representatives of the London-based club, which has been the champions of the English league 13 times, were in Kerala last month to meet the couple who live in Malappuram district’s Manjeri town.
“I have always been an Arsenal fan, the mighty team which included French legend Thierry Henry attracted me towards the club since my school days,” says 26-year-old Inzamam, who is a civil engineer by profession.
“Ever since Fida was pregnant we were thinking of naming our kid after an Arsenal player, even though many of my friends suggested that we should name him after the long-term club manager Arsene Wenger, I preferred Ozil,” recounts Inzamam.
The new father went on to say that he would “love it” if his son chose to be a footballer but the decision completely was up to him. “My biggest dream is to meet Mesut Ozil one day,” said Inzamam.
This isn’t the first such instance of sporting fandom in the family. Inzamam’s parents named him after legendary Pakistani batsman and former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Malappuram is well known for its love for football. With just 70 days to go for the FIFA World Cup to begin in Moscow, discussions about teams and players can be heard in every nook and corner of the Kerala district.