Lionel Messi’s bodyguard tackles pitch invader inches away from star

Lionel Messi’s bodyguard, Yassine Chueko, was finally called in action when a pitch invader stormed the field last night when Los Angeles FC hosted Inter Miami. An eager fan rushed towards the World Cup winner and was swiftly dealt with during the MLS tie at the BMO Stadium.

Chueko has caught the attention of fans since Messi’s move from Paris Saint-Germain to Inter Miami in July this year. The bodyguard can often be seen patrolling the touchlines when Messi is in action with his sole attention focused on the World Cup winner.

And his diligence paid off when an over-enthusiastic fan ran onto the pitch during Inter Miami’s MLS clash against Los Angeles FC. Miami were 2-0 up at the time with a yellow card being awarded to Miami forward Facundo Farias for a clumsy foul.

Farias was involved earlier in the game when he scored the opening goal after just 14 minutes. A long ball from Tomas Aviles was fired through the defence, resulting in Farias lunging on to the pass to slide his shot across goal and into the bottom corner.

Just 10 minutes into the second half, Messi and his former Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba sent fans down memory lane. Messi played a perfect ball to split the defence, allowing Alba to pass the ball in.

Messi would then be involved moments later, but through no fault of his own. A young fan wearing a Barcelona top ran onto the pitch in an attempt to meet the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.

The Argentine’s bodyguard was quickly alerted and intervened before Messi could be reached. Chueko, taking his duties very seriously, grappled the fan and carried him off the field with help from the stadium’s security.

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Despite the drama, Messi seemed undeterred by the incident and was able to provide an assist just minutes later. The 36-year-old capitalised on a mistake at the back before playing in Leonardo Campana to fire the ball into the far post.

LAFC grabbed a consolation goal through Ryan Hollingshead in the last minute but it proved too little, too late. Despite the home side’s defeat, fans in the stadium, including Prince Harry, Selena Gomez and Leonardo DiCaprio, sounded their appreciation for another Messi masterclass.

Inter Miami will hope to continue their strong run of form when they face Sporting KC this Saturday, with LAFC in action against Portland Timbers.

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