In most cases, people can do little about their first names. Ultimately, it is a decision taken at such an early stage in life that any choice over the matter is virtually impossible.
They are often passed down through generations or simply selected for their beauty or sound, but in the case of Edson Buddle, the source of his forename is rather different. He was named after one of the greatest and most famous footballers of all time: Pele, or Edson Arantes do Nascimento to be precise.
The 30-year-old striker, whose Jamaica-born dad Winston was also a professional footballer, told FIFA.com: "That's right, my father was a big fan of Pele. Of course I never really had a say in it, but I think it's a great honour if your father names you after such a great person."
With such an iconic namesake to live up to as well as a footballer father, Buddle's path to becoming a professional player was almost predestined. "My dad only ever wanted me to play football as a kid," he revealed. "I doubt he would ever have guessed I'd get so far, but he's very happy about it."
Buddle has managed three goals in ten appearances for USA, though interestingly seven years separate his first full cap in 2003 from his second in 2010. "It was disappointing not to be a part of it for so long, but it's not the end of the world," he said.
"It gave me a chance to concentrate on myself. I didn't do enough to play for the national team during that time, but I've worked on my game and now I'm involved again, something I'm very happy about."
Buddle could not have timed his comeback better, making his return to the fold shortly before the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, which was like "living the American dream" according to the goal-getter.
"It was great," he said. "Normally I'm just a spectator, but this time I took part. Of course I would have liked to have played more, but I'll never forget being part of the World Cup squad. It was one of the highlights of my career, without a doubt."
Klinsmann praise, Brazil quest
With USA set to battle it out with Guatemala, Antigua and Barbuda, and Jamaica for a place at Brazil 2014, another chance to prove himself at the highest level could well be on the horizon: "It's a challenge. Any of these teams are capable of beating us. Obviously I'm hoping to be involved again."
Currently responsible for the Stars and Stripes' fortunes is former Germany striker Jurgen Klinsmann. "He's great, he was one of my role models," said Buddle. "I used to have a poster of the Germany team which won the 1990 World Cup on my wall. I can learn a lot from him. I listen a lot more now because I know who he is and what he can do.
"[Bob] Bradley and Klinsmann are fairly similar. As coaches they have the same experience, but Jurgen was a fantastic player. He played at the highest level and knows what he's talking about. Perhaps that's the biggest difference."
Unsurprisingly, Buddle turned to Klinsmann for advice when he was considering a move abroad: "He recommended that I go to Germany when we met in LA. He said it would be a challenge for me, and that's what life is all about."
After netting nine goals in 31 appearances in just under a year with German second division outfit FC Ingolstadt, Buddle recently returned to former club Los Angeles Galaxy, where he had previously spent three years between 2007 and 2010: "I'm pleased that the chance arose to return to an MLS club which has been so important to my career."
Back under Klinsi's gaze, Buddle is again hoping to establish himself in the national side ahead of Brazil 2014. "It would be nice to play at a World Cup again, but really I'm just happy to be part of the process," he told FIFA.com. "You have to set yourself different goals in life and make sure you achieve them."
Buddle has already begun setting himself new targets for the future, earning a coaching license and expressing a keen interest in "passing on some of what I've learned to the kids". Having already overcome the challenges of living up to his famous namesake, making his international comeback and proving himself in a European league, few would bet against the American doing just that.