The sister of Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk has been kidnapped in Brazil, the Centre for Police Operations in Campina Grande has confirmed.
Angelica Aparecida Vieira was outside the restaurant where she works as a nutritionist on Monday in the Brazilian city.
The 22-year-old woman was taken from her own car and put into the kidnappers’ vehicle according to restaurant manager Helio da Silva who witnessed the crime, and had to be treated for shock in hospital but has since been released.
Police have not yet confirmed how many people were involved in the kidnapping, which happened at 2pm local time.
Hulk was not set to play for Zenit in their away Champions League clash against Anderlecht on Tuesday night due to an injury which has ruled him out for two weeks, though these developments in his native country could have cast his appearance into doubt.
Brazil team-mate and Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva took to Twitter to express his sympathy and best wishes.
"I want to offer my friend HULK support," he wrote. "Much strength friend, I am praying that this will be resolved as soon as possible. Hugs."