Alan Pulido: Seized Mexico footballer freed

Pulido was part of the Mexican team at the 2014 World Cup. Photo: AFP.

International football player Alan Pulido has been rescued in north-east Mexico hours after his kidnapping, officials say.

Pulido, 25, appeared with a bandaged hand and told reporters he was "very well".

Officials said the rescue operation was carried out on Sunday night, without giving more details.

The striker plays for the Greek team Olympiakos and has made several appearances for Mexico's national team.

Pulido was kidnapped near Ciudad Victoria, in Tamaulipas state, on Saturday night after leaving a party, officials said in a statement (in Spanish).

Earlier reports said his abduction had taken place in the early hours of Sunday.

He was with his girlfriend when their car was surrounded by several trucks, local media reported.

Six masked men reportedly took the striker away "by force" while his girlfriend was left unharmed in the car park where the incident took place.

Authorities did not give details of the rescue operation, which included federal and local officials.

Appearing outside a police office, the player told reporters: "[I am] very well, thank God.''

Tamaulipas is one of Mexico's most violent states, and Mexico recently deployed more security forces to tackle cartels operating in the area.

The country has one of the world's highest kidnapping rates, with government figures saying some 1,000 people are abducted every year.

Others argue that the true figure could be almost 10 times as high.

Pulido joined Olympiakos last July and finished the season with six goals in 15 games.

He was part of Mexico's squad at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but was not called up for the upcoming Copa America tournament.