Meet Osama Vinladen, the Professional Footballer

Osama Vinladen is a 22-year-old football player from the Peruvian first division who has been making more headlines because of his controversial name than his professional career.

Osama Vinladen Jimenez Lopez’s name first raised eyebrows in his home country of Peru in 2017, when he was called up to be a part of the South American country’s U-15 (Under 15) team. He made his debut for a professional football club in 2018, when he was signed by second-division club Union Comercio. Last year, the club made it into Peru’s first division, and Osama once again found himself in the news because of his name. Despite his namesake’s terrible reputation, the young football player has always said that he doesn’t have a problem with it, adding that his brother is named Saddam Hussien and that his father wanted to name his third son George Bush. He didn’t get the chance, because his third child turned out to be a girl.

My brother’s name is Saddam Hussein and my father wanted to name the third child George Bush, but it was a girl,” Vinladen told Spanish newspaper Marca. “When Osama Bin Laden knocked down the Twin Towers, the name was in the news and I was born on October 7, 2002. I think my father liked it.”

If you’re thinking “Hey, the name is similar to that of one of the most notorious terrorists in history, but it starts with a ‘V’,” you should know that while it is written with a ‘v’, in Spanish, it is pronounced with ‘b’, so it sounds exactly as that of the more famous Osama.

The young footballer admits that there have been times when he wanted to change his name, but he has gotten over it now and just accepts the fact that he has an unusual name. He feels that there is much more to a person than their name and he hopes people understand that as well.


“I think there is a person called Hitler also in Peru,” Osama Vinladen said. “Jesus saved the world and there are Jesuses who do harm. Because there is an Osama who killed people, I don’t think there has to be a law about the name.”

Vinladen decided to give his own son a more conventional name, Santiago, although he admits that if it was up to his father, he would have named the boy George Bush.

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