Valdivia enjoys playing again after kidnapping

July 3rd, 2012 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, July 3 (IANS) Chile international midfielder Jorge Valdivia said he is finally enjoying his football again, almost a month after he and his wife were briefly kidnapped and robbed at gunpoint.

Valdivia played his third match since the incident last Sunday, coming off the bench in the 67th minute of Palmeiras’ 3-1 victory over Figueirense in Brazil’s Serie A championship, Xinhua reports.

“I am feeling good and happy again after everything that has happened,” Valdivia said Monday.

“I am starting to train again with enthusiasm and a desire to help the team keep improving to achieve its goals.”

Valdivia admits he is unsure if Palmeiras coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will select him in the starting line-up for Thursday’s Copa do Brasil final first leg against Coritiba.

“It’s not easy to sit on the bench,” he said. “Nobody likes to be left out of the team but the boss has to decide what’s best for the club.”

It is still unclear whether Valdivia will remain with the Sao Paulo outfit beyond the Copa do Brasil final.

The 28-year-old’s wife, having returned to Santiago with the couple’s two children, says she does not want to live in Brazil any longer.

The kidnapping took place while Valdivia was parking the car at a Sao Paulo shopping centre, June 7. The attacker forced his way into the vehicle and threatened to kill both unless he was paid 20,000 reais ($10,000) in cash from nearby ATMs.

The pair was set free after almost three hours with the kidnapper only succeeding in taking $500, which was Valdivia’s ATM card limit. Valdivia has made 51 appearances for Chile since his international debut in 2004.

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