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Last Updated: Friday, 17 December, 2004, 13:26 GMT
Brazil footballer's mother freed
Robinho has been hailed as Brazil's new football prodigy
Kidnappers have freed the mother of one of Brazil's brightest young football stars, Robinho, six weeks after seizing her at gunpoint from a party.

Marina Lima de Souza, 43, was found in the west of the city overnight, according to Sao Paulo police.

Brazilian media reported that a ransom was paid. This has not been confirmed.

She was seized in early November, shortly after media reports linked her 20-year-old son with a lucrative move to Spanish side Real Madrid.

Police said Mrs de Souza was undergoing medical checks after being found on the outskirts of Sao Paulo.

"She has already spoken to Robinho and we have people in Sao Paulo picking her up," the player's agent, Wagner Ribeiro, told Reuters news agency.

Her ordeal began on 6 November when two gunmen abducted her from a barbecue party in the town of Praia Grande, 75km (45 miles) from Sao Paulo.

Other guests were locked in a bathroom while the kidnappers made their getaway with her.

Robinho, whose full name is Robson de Souza, has not played for his team, Santos, since his mother was kidnapped.

He is regarded as one of the most exciting young footballers in Brazil and has been linked with several top clubs in Europe.

Brazilian football great Pele, who also played for Santos, has said he was reminded of himself when he first saw Robinho play.

Robinho expresses relief at his mother's return

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30 Nov 04 |  World Football
Real close in on signing Robinho
22 Nov 04 |  Chelsea
Brazilians mourn kidnapped mayor
21 Jan 02 |  Americas
Country profile: Brazil
09 Dec 04 |  Country profiles


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