1 in 18 Argentinian Boys Born During '86 World Cup Named After Diego Maradona?

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1 in 18 Argentinian Boys Born During '86 World Cup Named After Diego Maradona?
CARLO FUMAGALLI/Associated Press

In the midst of winning Argentina its second World Cup, Diego Maradona may have inadvertently spawned an army of mini Diegos

This news comes to us via Facebook (h/t For the Win’s Nina Mandell), who conducted a bit of data mining and pulled out some insane revelations concerning Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona and the ripple effect his legendary performance at the 1986 World Cup had on the population of Argentina.

Pulling information from its database, Facebook discovered a huge spike in the number of Argentinian users named “Diego” who list their birthday as during or immediately after the 1986 World Cup. 

Facebook found that in the 18 months prior to the World Cup, the number of males born in Argentina named “Diego” hovered around one to 1.5 percent. As soon as the World Cup kicked off, however, the number skyrocketed.

On the week of Argentina’s World Cup final against West Germany, 5.5 percent of all male babies born in Argentina were named “Diego.” To put that in perspective, one in 18 boys birthed throughout the country over that fateful week can trace their namesake to Maradona.


While the name dropped off considerably after tournament’s end, the bump was enough to produce a 102 percent sustained increase from the beginning of the tournament to the end of the year. 

Even crazier, Maradona’s heroics also affected child-naming patterns in Brazil. Facebook reports males named “Diego” hopped from one percent to 2.2 percent over the course of the 1986 World Cup Finals. Yup, Maradona enraptured other nations to the point of affecting their children’s names, too. 


While this news may come as a bit of goofy trivia, I advise you to stay frosty, sports fans. There is an army of fully grown Diego babies out there, presumably awaiting some sort of high frequency signal from Maradona to initiate a global takeover. Or they’re just normal people named after a soccer legend. 

Either way, we should be preparing for another wave of sorts if Argentina gets hot again. These Diegos may be bringing home “Lionels” in a couple weeks.

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