Footballer's family robbed at gunpoint in terrifying home invasion

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, Roma defender Chris Smalling, his wife and young son.
Roma defender Chris Smalling's young family were the victims of a terrifying home invasion. Pic: Instagram

Former England and Manchester United defender Chris Smalling says his family is still "very shaken up" after a frightening armed robbery at their family home in Rome.

Smalling - who plays for Italian side Roma - was inside the family home with his wife and young child when armed robbers broke into the property and held the family at gunpoint in the early hours of Friday morning.

WOW: Woman claims married Premier League player is father of her child

'GOOD HEAVENS': Absurd upset leaves football world stunned

The 31-year-old centre-back was forced to open a safe and hand over watches and jewellery during the terrifying home invasion.

Smalling, his model wife Sam Cooke and the couple's two-year-old son Leo were asleep at the time, when it's understood three hooded men forced their way into the house in the Appia Antica area of Rome.

Seen here, Chris Smalling, his wife Sam Cooke and their two-year-old son Leo.
Chris Smalling's wife Sam Cooke and two-year-old son Leo were inside the family home with him when armed men broke in and robbed it. Pic: Instagram

The robbery reportedly happened in front of Smalling's toddler and the defender admits the incident left the family "very shaken".

"I'd like to thank everyone for your well wishes and support," Smalling said in a post on Twitter.

"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."

Police have launched an investigation into the robbery after local media reported that the young family was "very distressed" by the home invasion.

A knee injury meant Smalling did not feature in Thursday night's home 1-1 Europa League tie against Ajax, which saw the Italian side qualify for the semi-finals where they will meet his former club, Manchester United.

The defender won two Premier League titles with the Red Devils after signing from Fulham in 2010.

Smalling back at training after incident

In the autumn, Roma coach Paulo Fonseca and Lazio Rome player Joaquin Correa were also victims of burglaries while they were away with their teams.

Smalling, who earned 31 caps for England, joined Roma from United in October 2020 on a permanent deal, having spent the previous season on loan.

Fonseca said on Saturday that Smalling was back training.

Seen here, Chris Smalling celebrates with a Roma teammate during a football match.
Smalling made his loan move from Manchester United to Roma permanent in 2020 after impressing for the Italian side. Pic: Getty

"We are assessing his situation every day. He's started training out on the pitch again," said Fonseca.

"Let's see. When he has confidence in his ability to return, he will return. But I think he is doing a lot better."

Seventh-placed Roma travel to Torino on Sunday in Serie A looking to close in on the European places.

with agencies

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.