Argentine Abducted In Nigeria: Chanting Lionel Messi’s Name Saved My Life


An Argentine who was abducted in Nigeria owes his life to footballing superstar Lionel Messi, after chanting his compatriot’s name to calm his violent captors, as revealed by Goal.

Santiago Lopez Menendez, an agricultural engineer, had been working in Nigeria since last year, planting soya and corn crops in the north-west region of the country, close to the major town of Kontagora.

Earlier this week, the 28-year-old was kidnapped by a group of men and, thinking he was North American and barely speaking English, they violently attacked their victim.

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”.

Menendez was held by his kidnappers for three days and was eventually freed after the company he works for paid a ransom fee to his captors, which has not been disclosed.

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.’”

Santiago is now safe and sound and will return to his homeland shortly. Lionel Messi now serves two important functions – to dazzle the footballing world and rescue others in their time of need.



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