A man who was kidnapped in Nigeria has told the shocking tale of how he was freed by some violent kidnappers after he chanted the name of celebrated Barcelona footballer, Lionel Messi often referred to as merciless Messi due to his prowess in the football world.
The victim from Argentina, Santiago Lopez Menendez, an agricultural engineer, had been working in Nigeria for the past one year, where he plated soya and corn crops in the north-west region of the country, close to the major town of Kontagora.
The 28-year-old was kidnapped on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 by a group of men who barely spoke English and unleashed a violent attack on him thinking he was a North American.
But, in a desperate effort to quell his kidnappers, Menendez tried to tell them he was from Argentina and when they ignored him, he proceeded to shout repeated chants of “Messi, Messi, Messi”, according to Mirror UK.
Menendez was held by his kidnappers for three days but he eventually regained his freedom after the company he works for paid a ransom to his captors.
Speaking to the media in Argentina, his brother Jorge has said, “Tell them I am grateful to Messi”, he told me. “Naming him is what saved me.’”
Now, Messi isn’t just a football star but the saviour of one of his great fans.