Good news came Monday morning after what appeared to be a scary weekend for Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido. As he left a party in his hometown of Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, on Saturday night, the 25-year-old footballer was kidnapped by unidentified individuals who were masked and armed. He remained missing for most of the day on Sunday, until officials rescued Pulido, the former World Cup player, late Sunday night.
Pulido, a striker, currently plays for Olympiakos, a Greek team out of Piraeus. He joined the team in 2015 after briefly playing for another Greek team, Levadiakos. His move to Greece sent up a red flag — or a red card, if you will — back in Mexico, as he remains in a legal dispute with his prior team, Tigres UANL. Tigres argues that Pulido signed a contract extension in 2014 to keep him on the team through 2016, but Pulido and his representative have claimed that the signature on that contract was falsified. Therefore, Pulido has argued, he was a free agent in 2014 when he made the move to Greece.
Both teams, Olympiakos and Tigres, expressed their support for Pulido and his family during his kidnapping over the weekend. Despite the contractual drama in his career, Pulido has made quite a name for himself on the field, particularly in his home country of Mexico. He was a member of the Mexican national team during the 2014 World Cup.
After beating Cameroon and Croatia and tying Brazil in the first stage, the Mexican team lost to the Netherlands in the round of 16 during the 2014 World Cup, which took place in Brazil. Pulido did not end up playing in any of Mexico's games during the tournament, however his career record has earned him attention for selection on other tournament teams. Pulido reportedly qualified for Mexico's national team ahead of the upcoming Copa America tournament, which will take place in the United States in June. However, Pulido was left off of the team due to the ongoing contractual battle between Pulido and Tigres.
Many of the details surrounding Pulido's kidnapping remain unclear, but his Greek team reported that the player had suffered a minor injury while in captivity and was at a local hospital on Monday morning for a full assessment. According to USA Today, Pulido appeared to have a bandaged hand at Monday morning's press briefing. He had reportedly attended the party in Ciudad Victoria with his girlfriend. Ciudad Victoria is the capital of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, in the northeastern part of the country.