Ignazio Barbagallo, a 55 year old Italian amateur footballer, made the headlines after he staged his own helicopter kidnapping in the middle of his retirement match.
Barbagallo’s team, The City of Viagrande were playing Nebrodi in a Catanese Third Category championship match when the fiasco unfolded, according to FOX Sports Italy.
A helicopter landed in the middle of the pitch, kicking up copious amounts of dust and forcing the players to take cover behind a dugout. Masked men then exit from the helicopter and can be seen ‘kidnaping’ Barbagallo at gun point in the video.
As it would turn out, the whole ‘kidnapping’ was staged by the player himself as a practical joke to draw the curtains on his career.
However, the stunt did not go down well with the footballing authorities as The City of Viagrande was fined €200 and banned from playing until 31st of May 2019.
Barbagallo was also slapped with a ban until 30th of June 2019, but that matters little as the whole charade was orchestrated to commemorate his retirement from football anyway.