By JORGE SAINZ
MADRID — Within hours of Shakira’s baby boy being born, people are already asking about his future career.
Will Milan Pique Mebarak be a famous pop singer liker his Colombian mother, or an international soccer star like his Spanish father, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique?
“Welcome Milan Piqu Mebarak and congratulations to Shakira and Gerard Pique. What would you prefer as a present for the baby, a microphone or some (soccer) boots?” Manchester City striker Sergio “Kun” Aguero wrote Wednesday on Twitter.
Shakira, 35, gave birth to her first child Tuesday in Barcelona in northeastern Spain. Both the boy and mother were said to be in fine health.
Pique’s grandfather, Amador Bernabeu, said the couple was delighted.
“I still haven’t seen him (Milan) in person but I know he is dark-haired and weighs 2.9 kilograms (6 lbs),” Bernabeu told RAC-1 radio.
Congratulatory messages rained down on the couple from both sides of the Atlantic.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was among the first to wish them the best, while the Pies Descalzos (Shoeless) Foundation for poor children set up by Shakira in 1997 sent a Twitter message saying, “The children and Pies Descalzos team are happy for Milan’s birth. We love you Shakira!”
Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas tweeted a welcome to the baby, saying he “can’t wait to meet you.”
Antonella Roccuzzo, the girlfriend of Argentine soccer ace Lionel Messi, tweeted “Welcome to the world Milan Pique Mebarak. Now Thiaguin will have a great friend,” in reference to her recently-born son.
One of the big surprises was child’s first name. In a statement, Shakira said Milan was of central European origin and meant “loved, full of grace, loving,” in Slavic and “unification” in Sanksrit.
Milan, coincidentally, is also the name of the famous soccer team from that Italian city and Barcelona’s next rival in the European Champions League.
Bernabeu admitted the family was surprised by the choice and confessed he had never heard of the name. “I think Milan will become fashionable,” he told the radio.
The grandfather, a former director of the Barcelona club, made sure Milan was registered as a club member as soon as he was born.
Shakira and the 25-year-old Pique have been a couple for the past two years and are regularly featured in gossip magazines and TV programs in both Europe and Latin America.