Last year Yassin Chuako was making his Muay Thai debut at a small stadium in Rawai. He is now working in front of a much bigger crowd albeit in a totally different capacity as Lionel Messi’s personal bodyguard.

Chuako’s main qualification for the job appears to be his background in Muay Thai. There is some speculation he might have served in the military although this is not confirmed and his Instagram account consists almost exclusively of photos of him training and fighting in Phuket.


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High security

This year Messi signed for Inter Miami. He has been one of the best footballers in the world for well over a decade playing for Barcelona, PSG and the Argentina national team.

But Messi, or someone close to him, clearly feels that playing in the US requires a higher level of security than playing in a European league would. As a result the former Muay Thai fighter has been hired to protect the legendary footballer.

Chuako clearly takes his job very seriously and can be seen pacing up and down the touchline when Messi is in action. Normally no-one apart from the players would be allowed so close to the pitch but when you are one of the greatest footballers of all time different rules clearly apply.

Pay rise

While Chuako’s actual employment history remains somewhat murky he has certainly come a long way since his days as a fighter in Phuket. He appears to have fought just once in Rawai Boxing Stadium and would have been unlikely to receive more than a few hundred dollars for that fight.

As Messi’s bodyguard he must surely be getting paid a lot more. After all he is protecting one of the highest paid sports stars on the planet with an estimated salary of $45 million USD per year at Inter Miami.

The benefits of training in Muay Thai are well documented. You can lose weight, get fit, gain confidence and make friends from all different walks of life.

But judging from Chuako’s life story training at places like Tiger Muay Thai and Bali Muay Thai can also help when it comes to securing one of the most prestigious bodyguarding jobs in the sporting world!