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Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Monday, 14 June 2010 16:58 UK

World Cup 2010: Brazil star Melo names his son Lineker

Brazillian player Mele

Brazilian Melo on naming son Lineker

Brazil's Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo has revealed that he named his son after former England star and BBC presenter Gary Lineker.

"I gave that name [Lineker] to my son because I find it very beautiful, different... and an honour," said Melo.

"He was a great player, a big name in the national team of England and in the history of the English national team."

Lineker, who was the top scorer at the 1986 World Cup, said: "I am extremely flattered, albeit mildly embarrassed."

He added: "Surely with the array of talent within the Brazilian team, he could have named him after someone other than a goal hanger like me!"

Melo, 26, is expected to be named in Brazil's side to take on North Korea on Tuesday in their opening match of the World Cup.

"For me it's an honour to play under the gaze of so many great players of world football - Pele, Maradona, Lineker and other great players," he said.

World Cup guide: Brazil

World Cup guide - Brazil

Set to win his 19th cap for Brazil, Melo has been compared to manager Dunga following his impressive displays in the holding midfield role.

"We have similar characteristics and that's important," he said. "Every team needs a player with a strong character to help out when a team-mate is in need.

"We have similar style, always working hard to steal a ball here and there. I never like to lose a challenge and he was like that too.

"Dunga dominated his position. I'm trying to learn from his experience and the tips he is always giving me. He has already won everything - I haven't."

Dunga won 96 caps for Brazil and was captain when they won the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

Bidding to win their sixth World Cup, Brazil follow the North Korea match with Group G games against the Ivory Coast on 20 June - also in Johannesburg - before taking on Portugal on 25 June in Durban.

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see also
Juventus sign Arsenal target Melo
15 Jul 09 |  Arsenal
Silva urges Melo to join Arsenal
29 Jun 09 |  Arsenal

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