Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has revealed the secret inspiration behind his name, and identified Hollywood star Jean Claude Van Damme.
The France international’s middle name of Happy is well known, but the defender’s first name is actually based on a character played by the action film star.
The 25-year-old’s mother was pregnant when she settled down with his father to watch the film Kickboxer – starring Belgian martial art superstar Van Damme.
He was playing the character Kurt Sloane, and from that moment the defender’s dad decided he wanted to name his unborn son the same name.
Zouma said: “When my mother was pregnant with me she was sitting watching a movie with my father.
“It was kickboxer, with Jean Claude Van Damme playing a guy called Kurt, and my father said ‘This baby coming, we’re going to call him Kurt, because he will be strong’.
“My mother just added one thing, ‘Okay, but we are going to call him Happy as well, because he will bring happiness. He will be smiling all day, every day’.
“So they called me Kurt Happy Zouma. You could say I was born to be strong and smiley.”
Zouma added: “I grew up near Lyon with five brothers and one sister. There was one room for five of us so i used to be quite tight with my brothers.
“But it was quite difficult sometimes – there were always fights between us, like there always are with brothers, but we had a lot of good times and we were very close.”