Because being the best soccer player in the world wasn’t enough, Messi had to go and add “lifesaver” to his resume. Well, sort of.
According newspaper Clarín, the soccer player indirectly helped save the life of Santiago Lopez Menéndez, an Argentinian agricultural engineer working in Nigeria. Kidnapped and badly beaten by men who believed Menéndez was a U.S. citizen, the Argentinean engineer decided to scream “Messi! Messi! Messi!” in an effort to convince his captors he wasn’t a gringo.
Improbably, his captors began to treat him better after he began yelling the name, reducing the intensity of their attacks and releasing him one day later after the company he works for – Flour Mills – paid a ransom.
The 28 year-old River Plate fan is currently at the Argentinean embassy in Lagos (Nigeria’s capital), and asked his brother to send a message through Argentinea’s newspaper Clarín: “Thank you Messi, mentioning your name saved my life.”
You can’t make this stuff up.