Uruguay stars Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani have received an unexpected message of support from Jhon Jairo Velasquez, who served as a hitman for Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Broadcaster Valentin Fletcher relayed the video, featuring "Popeye":
Per Goal's Alex Young, he said:
Hello, I am Jhon Jairo Velasquez Vasquez, Popeye, the personal hitman for Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria.
I come to send a strong salute to the Uruguayan football team, and champions [Suarez] and [Cavani].
Receive all my love, my respect, you who are the strength of your people, the pride of your people.
From Medellin, Colombia, I am to congratulate them for being great warriors.
Receive all my love and respect from these streets. Big hugs.
According to Young, Velasquez served 22 years in prison for murdering "around 300 people" and ordering the deaths of "thousands more."
Since his release on parole, he now records videos for YouTube under the guise of "Popeye Arrepentido," or "Remorseful Popeye," with almost 170,000 subscribers to his video channel.
Uruguay play Paraguay in Montevideo on Tuesday as they look to bounce back from their World Cup qualifier 1-0 defeat at the hands of Argentina on Friday.