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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