ecently, a viral video of a clean shave, medium-built man, pacing the touchline while football star, Lionel Messi was in action for his Major League Soccer side, Inter Miami.
His close proximity presence to the Argentine left many wondering about his true identity.
According to La Nacion, the man is Yassine Chueko, a former US Navy Seal who reportedly served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Chueko was specifically brought on board by Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham to make sure Messi is safe amid the rising number of pitch invaders in recent years, reports the Daily Mail.
👮♂️🇦🇷 During Inter Miami matches, Leo Messi is followed by an ex-US Navy Seal for maximum security.
The bodyguard is a martial arts, boxer and taekwondo expert. He can be seen even following him during matches. pic.twitter.com/Gl8n1UzHXV
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) August 24, 2023
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Apart from ensuring condoning off-pitch invaders, Chueko is responsible for ensuring Messi’s secure transition from the team bus to the changing rooms.
Apart from Messi, the arrival of ex-Barca teammates, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba means more eyes on the club than before.
Club, Director Jorge Mas, said they were aware of the security risk involved with the trio’s presence hence strict security provided even on the pitch.
“Security will obviously be enhanced. Players will be bussed in, going through a tunnel
“All of those security protocols are already prepared both for here and away. And it’s not only for our games. It’s going to be an everyday occurrence and something we witnessed, and I thought handled very well when (Messi) was here with Argentina before the World Cup.
“As you may recall, Argentina trained in Miami before they flew over to Doha. We had an opportunity to see some of the Messi mania at our doors on an everyday basis during practice. So, we’re very prepared. We’ve been getting ready for this,” Mas told Miami Herald in June.