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

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

A massive search operation was launched in the crime-plagued northern state of Tamaulipas.

In a statement on Monday, Mexico security forces said his rescue happened shortly before midnight and involved state and federal police.

Alan Pulido

Pulido is a striker for Greek side Olympiakos

It added that Pulido was being medically assessed, with pictures showing him with a bandaged right hand.

Speaking outside state police offices, Pulido told reporters he was “very well, thank God”.

Tamaulipas governor Egidio Torre Cantu said: “The most important thing is that he is here, he is with us and he is safe, that is what we really wanted to inform you as you can see.”

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, with rampant drug trafficking and kidnappings.

Around 5,000 people are listed as “disappeared” in the state, out of a total of 26,000 people reported missing in Mexico last year.