Former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling joined Roma on loan in the summer of 2019. He then sealed a permanent transfer to Stadio Olimpico last October, and was glad to be back at Roma. But his move came at a steep price – Smalling was robbed in Roma.
The former England international has spoken highly of living in the Italian capital in the past.
He even told The Athletic in October 2019: “My wife has always been supportive.
“She said: ‘If you want to move, we’ll all move. We’ll do what’s best for your football.’ I knew she’d say that, which I appreciated.”
“So I moved,” Smalling continued, back then.
“I lived in a hotel for a month and we moved into a beautiful house last week. It’s 700 hundred years old, just outside Rome,” he said, describing his new home.
“It’s surrounded by greenery which is important with our dogs. Everyone is here now and that feels good.”
This idyllic home in his beloved Roma was not a scene of peace and familial joy on Friday, though. Three perpetrators broke into the home from a window in Smalling’s bedroom.
They stole jewellery (including luxury Rolex watches) and cash, holding Smalling and his family at gunpoint. They forced the family to hand over these valuables.
Finally, at 5 AM in the morning, Smalling’s wife called the police. An investigation is now underway.
This is not a new incident in the football world. Roma boss Paulo Fonseca had watches and precious objects worth €100,000 stolen from his house in Monteverde in November. But then, he and his family were not at home.
Lazio forward Joaquin Correa’s house in Rome was also burgled a few days earlier.
And these are just Rome cases- many footballers have had their homes broken into. They may or may not be present at home, but robbers seem to target them due to their somewhat luxurious lifestyles.
Marcus Rashford extended his condolences to Smalling and his family via Twitter.