Chris Smalling has broken his silence after being robbed at gunpoint in his Rome property on Friday, admitting the terrifying incident left him and his family “very shaken up”.
Smalling, who left Manchester United to sign for Roma on a permanent basis last year, was sleeping when three hooded men broke into his home in the early hours of Friday morning and forced him to open his safe at gunpoint.
The 31-year-old handed over a Rolex watch, jewellery and other valuable items to the masked assailants before they fled, according to Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport.
His wife Sam is said to have called the police at around 5am after the robbery at their home in the Appia Antica region, located around 25 miles south of Rome itself.
The incident was also witnessed by their two-year-old son Leo.
Fortunately, Smalling has taken to social media to confirm he and his family were unharmed in the robbery.
The England defender wrote on Twitter: “I’d like to thank everyone for your well wishes and support! My family although very shaken up are luckily unharmed!
“Hoping these people can find a more meaningful way to live their lives without causing such harm and distress to others.”
It is believed local police are now investigating the incident, while Roma have offered their support to Smalling and his family.
The former United man is the latest victim in a long line of robberies on high-profile footballers in Italy over the past few years.
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Juventus ace Weston McKennie was also targeted earlier this year while he was in action for the Italian champions against SPAL.
Smalling has spent close to two years with Roma, having initially joined the Serie A club on a season-long loan move from United in the 2019/20 campaign.
After impressing in that season, Paulo Fonseca’s side decided to snap him up permanently last summer.
Smalling has received widespread support on social media following the robbery on Friday, with former team-mate Marcus Rashford posting on Twitter: “Thinking about you @ChrisSmalling and your lovely family. So sorry to wake up to the news this morning. Can’t imagine how you’re feeling but I hope you’re ok”.
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