Archive for the ‘Olympiakos’ Category

Olympiakos sells Pulido to Guadalajara

alan-pulido

Piraeus (Greece) (AFP) – Mexican striker Alan Pulido has been sold to Guadalajara by Olympiakos, the Greek champions announced Tuesday.

No details of the transfer were revealed by the Super League club but Greek media reported that Olympiakos will receive 6.5 million euros for the deal.

Pulido, 25, played in eight matches scoring five goals for Olympiakos last season and also played for Greek side Levadiakos and Mexico’s Tigres UANL.

He was part of Mexico’s 2014 World Cup team and has six caps scoring four goals.

In May Pulido was kidnapped in Mexico by four armed men demanding six million pesos in ransom.

He was rescued after he untied himself, fought one of his kidnappers and took away his phone to call police hours after his abduction, authorities said.

Pulido signed a four-year contract with Olympiakos last season.

The post Olympiakos sells Pulido to Guadalajara appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

Germany’s Marin signs with Olympiakos

Piraeus (Greece) (AFP) – Olympiakos have signed German midfielder Marko Marin from Chelsea for an undisclosed fee, the Greek champions announced on Tuesday.

While the club did not announce the duration of the contract, Greek media reported it was a three-year deal.

Marin, 27, had been with Chelsea since 2012, but only made six Premier League appearances, before spending loan spells at Sevilla, Fiorentina, Anderlecht, Trabzonspor and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

He has played 16 times for the Germany national side, scoring one goal.

“I am very pleased and proud to wear the Olympiakos jersey,” Marin said.

“I will try to help the team reach their goal to win the championship and to do well in the Europa League.”

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Mexican athlete’s heroic escape sparks awe, doubts

Mexico City (AFP) – Mexican football star Alan Pulido emerged as a hero after beating a kidnapper and taking his phone to escape a nightmare of captivity in barely 24 hours.

But in a nation where the population has grown to deeply distrust the words and actions of the authorities, many are now asking if the miraculous details are indeed too good to be true. 

The apparent incompetence of a gang specialized in kidnappings surprised security experts, who note that few victims ever get away in a country where thousands disappear each year.

The timing also raised eyebrows, as the kidnapping took place just days before gubernatorial elections in the crime-ridden northeastern state of Tamaulipas on Sunday.

High-profile cases often fuel conspiracy theories in Mexico. The authorities have contributed to the skepticism by failing to solve cases or by lacking consistency in their public statements about investigations.

The most recent example is the disappearance of 43 students in 2014, as independent experts rejected the government’s conclusion that the young men’s bodies were burned at a garbage dump.

“The doubts have been built over a mountain of lies built over decades,” Alejandro Hope, editor of ElDailyPost.com and a former Mexican intelligence agency official, told AFP.

“How do you fight that? With transparency,” he said.

– ‘Hard to buy’ –

Officials and Pulido’s family reject the speculation as unfounded, but the case raised questions among pundits, security experts and Mexicans on social media.

“The story of Pulido’s kidnapping is very hard to buy,” El Universal columnist Luis Cardenas wrote on Tuesday, adding that the looming local elections “feed the suspicions.”

Authorities initially reported that Pulido, who plays for Greek club Olympiakos and was part of Mexico’s 2014 World Cup team, had been “rescued” in a police operation late Sunday following a massive manhunt.

By Monday morning, the official story had evolved into a Hollywood-worthy tale of bravery.

Authorities say Pulido was kidnapped after he left a party with his girlfriend late Saturday in his hometown of Ciudad Victoria, capital of Tamaulipas.

For unknown reasons, the four gunmen let the woman go.

State prosecutor Ismael Quintanilla said Pulido, a muscular 25-year-old athlete, was taken to a two-story house and left alone with one of his captors on the first floor — a lack of surveillance that surprised crime experts.

The footballer managed to untie his hands, punch the alleged Zetas drug cartel member and take his cellphone to call an emergency line.

Within minutes, police arrived and found Pulido safe and sound, with just a cut on his wrist from punching a door’s glass pane. The suspect was arrested.

“If it’s true, then we are talking about a monumental degree of incompetence by the kidnappers,” Hope said. “The doubts derive from this.”

Isabel Miranda de Wallace, who heads the Stop Kidnapping Association, said she has never heard of a victim overpowering a Zetas drug cartel member.

She also said it was odd that a second kidnapper who was reportedly guarding the house ran away instead of trying to subdue Pulido, and that the player was able to give his location to police.

While Miranda said she believes Pulido was truly kidnapped, “what’s not clear to me is how” he was taken and escaped.

One possibility, she said, was that a state government official contacted the kidnappers and said “give him back.”

“Imagine the international pressure. That’s not good for the government,” she told AFP.

In a new twist to the story, police on Tuesday arrested the husband of one of Pulido’s cousins and accused him of masterminding the kidnapping.

– Electoral maneuvering? –

The player’s brother, fellow football player Armando Pulido, rejected the speculation, telling Radio Imagen that the family endured “difficult moments” as kidnappers demanded a $325,000 ransom it could not immediately pay. 

But even Armando Pulido, who plays for a Greek second division team, said he initially thought that there “could have been a political issue” surrounding the kidnapping with state elections looming on Sunday.

But he eventually “realized it wasn’t the case” and the authorities did their job, he said.

Guillermo Gutierrez Riestra, a member of the civil organization Families and Friends of the Disappeared in Tamaulipas, said the player was “used for the elections.”

But Baltazar Hinojosa, gubernatorial candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which has ruled the state for years, rejected such allegations. 

“We would never do something of this magnitude,” he told a local radio station.

Quintanilla dismissed claims of a staged kidnapping, adding that such an operation would had many people involved, and Pulido would need “to be a great actor.”

The post Mexican athlete’s heroic escape sparks awe, doubts appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

Mexican athlete’s heroic escape sparks awe, doubts

Mexico City (AFP) – Mexican football star Alan Pulido emerged as a hero after beating a kidnapper and taking his phone to escape a nightmare of captivity in barely 24 hours.

But in a nation where the population has grown to deeply distrust the words and actions of the authorities, many are now asking if the miraculous details are indeed too good to be true. 

The apparent incompetence of a gang specialized in kidnappings surprised security experts, who note that few victims ever get away in a country where thousands disappear each year.

The timing also raised eyebrows, as the kidnapping took place just days before gubernatorial elections in the crime-ridden northeastern state of Tamaulipas on Sunday.

High-profile cases often fuel conspiracy theories in Mexico. The authorities have contributed to the skepticism by failing to solve cases or by lacking consistency in their public statements about investigations.

The most recent example is the disappearance of 43 students in 2014, as independent experts rejected the government’s conclusion that the young men’s bodies were burned at a garbage dump.

“The doubts have been built over a mountain of lies built over decades,” Alejandro Hope, editor of ElDailyPost.com and a former Mexican intelligence agency official, told AFP.

“How do you fight that? With transparency,” he said.

– ‘Hard to buy’ –

Officials and Pulido’s family reject the speculation as unfounded, but the case raised questions among pundits, security experts and Mexicans on social media.

“The story of Pulido’s kidnapping is very hard to buy,” El Universal columnist Luis Cardenas wrote on Tuesday, adding that the looming local elections “feed the suspicions.”

Authorities initially reported that Pulido, who plays for Greek club Olympiakos and was part of Mexico’s 2014 World Cup team, had been “rescued” in a police operation late Sunday following a massive manhunt.

By Monday morning, the official story had evolved into a Hollywood-worthy tale of bravery.

Authorities say Pulido was kidnapped after he left a party with his girlfriend late Saturday in his hometown of Ciudad Victoria, capital of Tamaulipas.

For unknown reasons, the four gunmen let the woman go.

State prosecutor Ismael Quintanilla said Pulido, a muscular 25-year-old athlete, was taken to a two-story house and left alone with one of his captors on the first floor — a lack of surveillance that surprised crime experts.

The footballer managed to untie his hands, punch the alleged Zetas drug cartel member and take his cellphone to call an emergency line.

Within minutes, police arrived and found Pulido safe and sound, with just a cut on his wrist from punching a door’s glass pane. The suspect was arrested.

“If it’s true, then we are talking about a monumental degree of incompetence by the kidnappers,” Hope said. “The doubts derive from this.”

Isabel Miranda de Wallace, who heads the Stop Kidnapping Association, said she has never heard of a victim overpowering a Zetas drug cartel member.

She also said it was odd that a second kidnapper who was reportedly guarding the house ran away instead of trying to subdue Pulido, and that the player was able to give his location to police.

While Miranda said she believes Pulido was truly kidnapped, “what’s not clear to me is how” he was taken and escaped.

One possibility, she said, was that a state government official contacted the kidnappers and said “give him back.”

“Imagine the international pressure. That’s not good for the government,” she told AFP.

In a new twist to the story, police on Tuesday arrested the husband of one of Pulido’s cousins and accused him of masterminding the kidnapping.

– Electoral maneuvering? –

The player’s brother, fellow football player Armando Pulido, rejected the speculation, telling Radio Imagen that the family endured “difficult moments” as kidnappers demanded a $325,000 ransom it could not immediately pay. 

But even Armando Pulido, who plays for a Greek second division team, said he initially thought that there “could have been a political issue” surrounding the kidnapping with state elections looming on Sunday.

But he eventually “realized it wasn’t the case” and the authorities did their job, he said.

Guillermo Gutierrez Riestra, a member of the civil organization Families and Friends of the Disappeared in Tamaulipas, said the player was “used for the elections.”

But Baltazar Hinojosa, gubernatorial candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which has ruled the state for years, rejected such allegations. 

“We would never do something of this magnitude,” he told a local radio station.

Quintanilla dismissed claims of a staged kidnapping, adding that such an operation would had many people involved, and Pulido would need “to be a great actor.”

The post Mexican athlete’s heroic escape sparks awe, doubts appeared first on World Soccer Talk.

Mexican football player’s relative ordered kidnapping: official

Mexico City (AFP) – Mexican authorities arrested on Tuesday a man married to a cousin of football star Alan Pulido, accusing the suspect of ordering the player’s high-profile kidnapping last weekend.

Osvaldo Velazquez Garcia, 29, was wounded and detained in a house in the northeastern city of Ciudad Victoria after a shootout with federal police, said Tamaulipas state prosecutor Ismael Quintanilla.

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