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Italian Footballer’s Retirement Match Stopped by ‘Helicopter Kidnapping'. Watch the Bizarre Video

The kidnapping prank was planned so meticulously planned that anyone might mistake it to be real.

News18 Sports

Updated:April 5, 2019, 1:54 PM IST
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Italian Footballer’s Retirement Match Stopped by ‘Helicopter Kidnapping'. Watch the Bizarre Video
The team were disqualified for landing a helicopter on the pitch during the match.

When it comes to memorable retirements in sports, one may think of a Sachin Tendulkar or Zinedine Zidane, both of whom left indelible marks on cricket and football that would be hard to top.

While Sachin played his last match in front of his home crowd in Mumbai and scored a memorable half century, Zidane bowed out at the biggest stage of them all – the final of the FIFA World Cup, in extra time, with a headbutt. Both of these moments are seared in the memory of fans, for contrasting reasons.

However, Ignazio Barbagallo, who played in the lower leagues of Italian football has now come to upstage them all, by staging an utterly ridiculous curtain-calling last weekend.

In the Catanese Third Category championship game between the City of Viagrande and the Nebrodi, a helicopter landed on the pitch while the match was underway and three men , two of which were wearing balaclavas, jumped off.

Why, you ask? Well, for the traditional 'fake helicopter kidnapping' routine for one of the longest-serving players to retire, of course.

The kidnapping was planned so meticulously planned that anyone might mistake it to be real.

After the helicopter landed on the pitch, sending dust and dirt everywhere from the rotors, the the three men immediately appraoached Barbagallo, while the other players ran for cover. They then dragged him towards the aircraft, according to Fox Sports Italy.

This insane stunt was just a charade to mark the 55-year-old’s retirement from the game and to give the player, known for his pranks, a 'fitting' goodbye.

The stunt, however, did not go down well with Sicilian authorities, who fined City of Viagrande 200 Euros and suspended them for all competitions till May 31.

But when you nail the prank so well, perhaps it is all worth it, eh?

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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