MEXICO CITY – A professional soccer player who was kidnapped in Mexico Saturday night has been rescued by authorities, according to state officials — largely thanks to his own heroics.
Mexican international and Olympiacos striker Alan Pulido was kidnapped Saturday night in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas state, and managed to call police and alert them to his location after a scuffle with one of his captors.
“After midnight last night there was a phone call to 066 from soccer player Alan Pulido and in a moment of carelessness by his captors in the place where he was, he was able to make a phone call asking for help, and giving (his) location where he was,” state prosecutor Ismael Quintanilla said during a press conference.
Pulido’s right hand was bandaged in the video. It was damaged when Pulido broke a pane of glass in a door during his escape, Quintanilla said during a phone interview with Mexican radio station Imagen.
“I’m good, I’m good, thank you,” Alan Pulido said as he faced reporters alongside the governor of Mexico’s Tamaulipas state, Egidio Torre Cantú, in a video posted on Twitter.
Quintanilla said that Pulido has been attended to by medical staff including psychologists, and would join his family in Monterrey.
The 25-year-old, a striker for Greece’s Olympiacos club has also played in the past for Mexico’s national team, most significantly during the 2014 World Cup campaign. He had not been called up for this year’s Copa America tournament in the United States, which kicks off June 3.
He was rescued shortly before midnight Sunday in “a city operation in conjunction with the federal government,” according to a statement from the Tamaulipas government.
“Pulido is currently being medically evaluated and more details on the rescue operation will be sent out later,” it said.
Ciudad Victoria has been one of Mexico’s most brutal battlegrounds in conflicts between rival drug cartels.
Hundreds of kidnappings were reported in the border state last year, although activists say the true tally of missing people is likely under-reported and actually much higher.