Dubai: His full name is Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan, but Aston Villa fans were toasting the man who is globally — and quirkily — known as ‘Trezeguet’.
The Egyptian international signed for Villa in the summer of 2019 for a paltry 8.75 million pounds, but he wrote his name into the history books of the Birmingham-based Premier League side on Tuesday night when he scored the injury-time winner against Leicester City to send them into the League Cup final at Wembley against either Manchester City or Manchester United.
But why Trezeguet?
The nickname stems back to when he was a youth player, and his then coach likened him to the French 1998 World Cup winner David Trezeguet for his technique and skill on the ball. And the name just stuck ...
Here are a few more stars who have monikers inspired by sporting heroes and legends.
Grigor ‘Baby Fed’ Dimitrov
The towering Bulgarian tennis star — a three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist — has long been likened to the one-and-only Roger Federer and he was dubbed ‘Baby Fed’ as a 17-year-old back in 2008 for his similar playing style to the Swiss master. Now a more matured 28 years old and with plenty titles of his own, he still shows no signs of shaking off that ‘Baby Fed’ tag.
Rashid ‘Mini Alonso’ Al Daheri
One of the UAE’s own, this young pup is still only 11. But he has been behind the wheel of a kart for so long now it feels like he was born with the nickname ‘Mini Alonso’. He eared the moniker not long after his karting debut at the age of five thanks to his fearless driving ability that has caused many to make comparisons for the Formula One great Fernando Alonso, who was known for pushing further and harder than his rivals and spectacular overtaking maneuvers.
If anyone was ever a fighter from birth it has to be boxer and former world champion Tyson Fury. Born on August 12 1988 in Manchester, Fury was three months premature and weighed lees than half a kilo. The doctors gave him little chance of survival but he pulled through against the odds, leaving his father John to name him after the at-the-time undisputed heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson, for his never-give-up spirit, something Fury still has in abundance, as his 29 wins and zero losses in the ring prove.