Former Manchester United and England defender Chris Smalling was held at gunpoint along with his wife and two-year-old son as three ‘armed and hooded’ intruders raided his home near Rome, according to reports in Italy.
Smalling’s villa around 25 miles south of the Italian capital was hit in the early hours of Friday morning as the thieves forced the star to open a safe before making off with jewelry and watches, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
The star’s wife Sam called the police at around 5am to report the incident, with the family – including young son Leo – said to be “distressed” but unharmed.
Police are investigating while Roma are believed to have offered Smalling and his young family any support they need.
Smalling, 31, was at home nursing a knee injury while his team were in action against Ajax in their Europa League quarter-final second leg at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on Thursday night – a match they drew 1-1 to progress to the semi-finals 3-2 on aggregate.
The English central defender made his switch to the Serie A club permanent last summer, having spent a successful season on loan from Manchester United.
Roma have been drawn to face the Old Trafford club in the Europa League semi-finals.
Smalling is not the only figure at Roma to be targeted by criminals in recent months.
Back in November, manager Paulo Fonseca’s home in Monteverde was raided as thieves made off with watches and jewelry worth around €100,000. Fonseca and his family were not home at the time of the robbery.
Over in France, there were worrying scenes in a Ligue 1 match in March when Paris Saint-Germain star Angel Di Maria was forced to rush off the pitch early after learning that his house had been ransacked while his family were at home.
Around the same time, family members of PSG teammate Marquinhos were also hit by thugs.
Also on rt.com