Football star Alan Pulido rescued after kidnapping in Mexico

The 25-year-old was abducted by an armed gang after leaving a party

Alan Pulido, kidnapped, footballer, Mexico, Ciudad Victoria, Olympiakos

Image via @olympiacos_org on Twitter

Mexico striker Alan Pulido has been found safe and well after he was kidnapped by an armed gang, according to authorities.

The 25-year-old was intercepted in the early hours of Sunday after leaving a party near his hometown of Ciudad Victoria, according to state prosecutors.

His kidnapping had sparked a massive search operation in the crime-plagued northern state of Tamaulipas.

Local media reported that Pulido was with his girlfriend at the party and the car they were travelling in was intercepted by a convoy of vans, which blocked the road and forced him out of the vehicle.

The woman was released almost immediately, but said she did not know where Pulido had been taken.

The striker, who plays for Greek side Olympiakos, has made a number of appearances for the Mexico national team.

Tamaulipas is one of Mexico's most dangerous states, where drug trafficking and kidnappings are rampant.

Some roads are so dangerous that police often escort travellers in protective convoys.

Around 5,000 people are listed as "disappeared" in Tamaulipas, out of a total 26,000 people reported missing in Mexico last year.

But according to the non-governmental organisation Families and Friends of the Disappeared in Tamaulipas, 11,000 people are unaccounted for in the state.

Pulido's Greek team tweeted earlier, saying they hoped for a good outcome.

"At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with Alan," Olympiakos said on its Twitter account.

Former teammates on Mexico's national team also went on social networks to offer their support for his welfare.