Yassine Cheuko: Lionel Messi’s Bodyguard Actions During LA Galaxy Match Excite Fans

Yassine Cheuko: Lionel Messi’s Bodyguard Actions During LA Galaxy Match Excite Fans

Martin Moses
February 27, 2024 at 7:27 AM
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  • Lionel Messi has had a bodyguard with him since moving to the United States
  • Yassine Cheuko is often spotted pacing on the touchline when Messi is playing
  • His primary role is to protect Messi from the brave pitch invaders at stadiums

Lionel Messi's move to Major League Soccer last year came with a lot of excitement for football fans in the United States.

A-list celebrities trooped to his first game against Cruz Azul on July 22 to witness firsthand the player many have dubbed as the greatest to ever step on a football pitch.

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Inter Miami's Lionel Messi with his bodyguard, Yassine Cheuko, on August 26, 2023. Photo by Rich Graessle.
Source: Getty Images

He has kept on generating the same levels of enthusiasm everywhere he goes - so much so that fans in Hong Kong were far from pleased when he failed to play in a preseason friendly earlier this month.

Amid all the fanfare, Messi was spotted with a shadow in the form of a well-toned man who accompanied him everywhere, including on match days.

The dugout area is always a reserve for the coaches to do their thinking and communicate instructions to their players but in the MLS, Tata Martino and other coaches have been forced to share it with Yassine Cheuko - Messi's bodyguard.

Messi's bodyguard in Los Angeles

Cheuko has made it a habit of marking the Argentine veteran, more or less the same way opposition defenders have in the last 15-plus years.

Against Los Angeles Galaxy on February 26, the bodyguard was up to the same antics again, following Messi's movements on the touchline, ready to pounce in case of anything.

@Joe_Pop said:

"This might be a dream job. Watch Messi play for free and get shredded at the same time."

@Casey said:

"Bro is running like 10 miles a game."

@MJ said:

"This is beyond ridiculous."

The Athletic has previously debunked claims that Cheuko is an ex-Navy Seal or was hired by David Beckham to protect Messi.

It is understood that the bodyguard knew the superstar while working at Paris Saint-Germain and moved with him to the MLS.

Messi helps goalkeeper save penalty

In the LA Galaxy game, meanwhile, Sports Brief also reported that Messi showed the goalkeeper the direction needed to save a penalty.

His former teammate at Barcelona saw his effort saved after Drake Callender dove to the left, the same way the veteran pointed.

The game ended 1-1 with Messi scoring a stoppage-time equaliser, with many commending Messi for his deep understanding.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)