My reaction when I saw this story online was, “When did Lionel Messi visit Nigeria?” on what mission? 
A 28 year-old Argentinian, 
Santiago Lopez Menendez has revealed how global soccer star and fellow country man Lionel Messi ‘saved’ him from kidnappers in Nigeria.
Menendez an engineer was captured while helping local farmers plant soya and corn in an agricultural project in Kontagora, Niger State, Nigeria on the 24th of June. He was tortured for 3 days, denied food, water, rest and beaten badly.
Along the line he figured out that his captors who spoke little English  thought he was an American. To bail himself out of the situation, he said he repeatedly chanted Messi and that was the magic. The beatings stopped. His employers, Four Mills later came to his rescue.
Now back to his country, Menendez told Clarin newspaper through his brother. ‘Thank you Messi, mentioning your name saved my life.’ 
Credit: UK Metro‎