Palmeiras star Jorge Valdivia has confirmed club fears that he could leave Brazil after suffering a harrowing kidnap ordeal, stating that he would not stay in Sao Paulo if his family no longer felt safe.
The Chile international was a victim of a crime phenomenon known in South America as 'Secuestro express', or express kidnapping. According to details given by the player himself to TVN, he was held captive for three hours after being intercepted in his car by thieves.
Valdivia was forced to drive around Sao Paulo after the attackers requested R$20,000 (€7,845) on learning he was a professional footballer, a figure that he could not obtain due to the daily limit on his credit card.
Speaking on Sunday after being granted leave to return to Chile, the midfielder confessed that if his loved ones wanted to leave Brazil he would have no option but to go with them.
"I have a contract here until 2015, but I don't think I could stay without my family," 'El Mago' explained to the TV station.
The player's wife, model Daniela Aranguiz, has stated that she wants to leave Brazil, and claimed that the attackers also tried to sexually assault her during the ordeal.