An ex-paratrooper and Real Madrid football fan who was walking from Spain to Qatar to watch the World Cup has gone missing.
Santiago Sanchez Cogedor, 40, an ex-paratrooper and Instagram sensation who boasts over 32 thousand followers has disappeared on the Iraqi Kurdistan border with Iran after beginning a 4,300-mile (6,920-kilometre) on-foot journey to watch the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar.
Friends and family last heard from Santiago on Sunday, 2nd October, according to local media reports.
This was after he reportedly sent a close friend named Miguel Bergado a picture of himself near the border the previous day.
He then wrote that “things were hot” in reference to the waves of protests currently rocking Iran.
Miguel told local media: “My feeling is that because of the political issue they could have retained him in Iran for being a foreigner.”
He went on to explain that a number of individuals have been arrested for snapping images of the protests, according to the Spanish embassy in Iran, while the ex-paratrooper’s relatives are reportedly convinced that Santiago was detained by the Iranian Armed Forces.
Santiago’s followers have expressed their shock in the wake of the Real Madrid fan’s disappearance.
The ex-paratrooper’s latest Instagram post features a picture of Santiago with a small child giving the camera a ‘thumbs up’ and recounts a touching tale involving the missing Spanish national playing a game of football with a group of children before he is invited to eat supper with a local family.
He then wrote: “After eating all the children escorted me to the end of the town with a very special hug…
“Tears of emotion walking fast I arrive to the mountain where I already see Iran.”
One netizen wrote: “We’re praying for you, Santi!”
And another added: “Come on, Santiago, we know you’ll be okay!
“I’m sure we’ll hear from you soon!”