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Chris Smalling, his wife and their two-year-old son have been held at gunpoint during an armed robbery at their home in Italy.
The horrifying incident saw three masked men break into the Roma defender's home in the early hours of Friday morning. Smalling was then forced to hand over jewellery, a Rolex watch and other valuables from a private safe, according to a report in Gazzetta dello Sport.
The police received a call from Smalling's wife, Sam, at around 5am. Shortly after police arrived at the family's villa, which is located around 25 miles outside of Italian capital city Rome - and they are now on the hunt for the criminals.
Understandably, the 31-year-old former Manchester United player and his family are reportedly "very distressed", however initial reports indicate they were at least physically unharmed.
Smalling missed Roma's Europa League quarter-final second against Ajax on Thursday night as he is currently recovering from a minor knee injury.
The Italian police have offered support to the Smalling family while they investigate the case.
Smalling initially joined Roma on loan from Man United in 2019 after over 300 appearances for the Premier League club. However he signed a permanent deal in 2020 after impressing in his first season in Rome.
As is unfortunately also the case in Britain, high-profile football figures in Italy are often the target of robberies at their home.
Gazzetta dello Sport also report that Roma manager Paulo Fonseca had his home broken into last year. However Fonseca was at least away with his club at the time and the property was empty.
However the Smalling family were home at the time of their overnight theft and it sounds an absolutely harrowing ordeal.
All imagery: PA Images
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