All that Mexican soccer star Alan Pulido said to the press during his initial appearance following his kidnapping ordeal was, "I'm Fine, thank God." Yet authorities described Pulido's quick actions which led to his safe return home.
The Mexican soccer star, who plays for the Greek team Olimpiakos, was kidnapped Saturday night after leaving a party with his girlfriend in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. It did not happen far from an area that includes police headquarters, according to Telemundo reporter Agustín Olais.
Pulido's kidnappers let his girlfriend go, and she alerted his family that the 25-year-old soccer player had been taken. The family later received a phone call from the abductors asking for money and the authorities began an intense manhunt in the area.
The next day, according to authorities, Pulido saw an opportunity when he was left alone with one of the kidnappers. Pulido overtook him in a fight and grabbed his cell phone and gun away; he then used the cell to call for help. He told authorities where he was and described the house, also telling them what he was wearing so he wouldn't be shot and confused for a kidnapper.
After he was safe, Pulido posted on Twitter; "muchas gracias a todos por su oracion;" thanks to all of you for your prayers.
In Mexico, news of his kidnapping and rescue was met with a mixture of relief as well as some cynicism for how the events unfolded. In an opinion piece in "El Universal," journalist Ciro Lopez Leyva said that the state of Tamaulipas will hold elections next week, and that it looked like Alan Pulido "was more valuable alive than kidnapped."
Tamaulipas was the state with the most kidnappings in Mexico; there were 230 reported in 2015 and 40 in 2016.
Pulido is a forward for Olympiakos and was part of Mexico's 2014 World Cup team.
Additional reporting from Telemundo's Agustín Olais and the Associated Press.