Top Mexican soccer coach freed two months after he was kidnapped

Ruben Omar Romano, the Argentine coach of Mexico's Cruz Azul soccer team who was kidnapped off a Mexico City street two months ago, was freed on Wednesday after two months in captivity, federal police said.

Romano, 47, had been forced from his luxury car by five armed assailants and abducted outside his team's practice facility in southern Mexico City on July 19.

Officials confirmed that Romano had been freed alive in a raid by federal police Wednesday on a house in a low-income district on the eastern outskirts of the city.

Romano walked out of the house escorted by agents of the Federal Investigative Agency, known as the AFI, Mexico's equivalent of the FBI. Wearing a beard and a baseball cap, Romano looked tired but healthy. Several kidnappers were also detained in the raid, and television footage showed several young men _ apparently suspects _ being marched out of the house by police. Romano said he had not been mistreated by his captors.

The club's president, Guillermo Alvarez, praised law enforcement agencies for their work in freeing Romano, saying "it was a great joy" to seem him freed. Romano had apparently been held at the neat, working-class home for much of the time since his kidnapping. It was unclear whether any ransom had been paid.

Romano took over the struggling Cruz Azul squad last December and under his leadership, the team spent several weeks atop the Mexican league. He has coached several clubs in Mexico, where he debuted as a player for the America team in the late 1970s, AP reported.

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