Valdivia decides to stay in Brazil after abduction

Palmeiras’ Chile international Jorge Valdivia says he will keep

playing in Brazil despite learning his wife was sexually molested

during the couple’s abduction 10 days ago in Sao Paulo.

Valdivia said Saturday he remains emotionally shaken by the

ordeal and his wife wants them to move back to Chile, but Palmeiras

says it won’t let him go without being financially compensated.

Valdivia, who played at the 2010 World Cup, was one of

Palmeiras’ most expensive signings in 2010 and is one of its star


The midfielder and his wife were abducted at gunpoint on June 7

while trying to rent a movie at a shopping center in an affluent

area of South America’s biggest city.

The couple spent ”three hours of terror” with the criminal,

who inappropriately touched Valdivia’s wife when the player left

the car to withdraw money for the robber. Valdivia’s wife, Daniela,

only told him she was molested after the couple had returned to


Valdivia said the robber constantly pointed a gun at their

heads, saying he was going to kill them.

”Even though I’m still emotionally shaken, I don’t want to be a

nuisance to the team with this story about whether I’ll leave or

I’ll stay,” Valdivia told Palmeiras’ website on Saturday. ”On the

contrary, I want to help Palmeiras in this decisive match against

Gremio (in the Brazilian Cup) and in our reaction in the Brazilian


Palmeiras is in the semifinals of the Brazilian Cup. It beat

Gremio 2-0 in the first leg in the southern city of Porto Alegre.

The return match at home is next week in Sao Paulo and a draw or a

1-0 loss will be enough for Palmeiras to advance to the final. The

eight-time national champion is second-to-last in the Brazilian

league after four rounds.

Valdivia practiced with his teammates on Friday for the first

time since the abduction occurred.

”We understand this is a difficult moment for Valdivia,” club

director Cesar Sampaio said. ”But we discussed and reached a

conclusion that it will help him to be with his teammates and to

get back to his routine.”

The 28-year-old Valdivia had told Chilean media that he was

unlikely to keep playing in Brazil, but on Thursday he said he

still hadn’t made a decision about leaving Palmeiras and needed to

meet with team officials to try to find a solution. His contract

with the club runs until August 2015.

Brazilian media reported that some Chilean clubs showed interest

in signing Valdivia, but the player’s high salary and transfer fee

would be an obstacle to any deal.

Palmeiras said it could talk to Valdivia again after the

Brazilian Cup ends to discuss whether an agreement could be reached

for his departure.

Valdivia said he would try to convince his wife to return to

Brazil but admitted that it wouldn’t be easy because she was afraid

their attacker may target them again once he is set free.

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