A name that is greater than any other footballer’s. Apparently saying Messi’s name repeatedly saved the life of an Argentine who was kidnapped in Nigeria.
A 28-year-old Argentine Agricultural engineer, Santiago Lopez Menendez was kidnapped in Nigeria. The Argentine who has been working in Nigeria since last year, planting soya in the Kotangora region was kidnapped and opted to shout Messi’s name, which may have saved his life.
He was handled violently by his captors, who hardly spoke any English and thought he was north American.
It was then in desperation that Menendez tried to tell them he was Argentine and he was eventually able to calm down his aggressors with repeated cries of “Messi, Messi, Messi”.
Held captive for three days, the engineer was eventually released after the company who employs him paid an undisclosed ransom to the kidnappers.
Back in Argentina, his brother Jorge spoke to Clarin and said: “‘Tell them I am grateful to Messi’, he told me. ‘Naming him is what saved me.'”
Menendez is now safe and will return to his homeland in the next few hours.