Former Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi has reportedly been the victim of a violent raid in which four thugs broke into his home and placed a belt around his neck while stealing cash and several valuable watches.
Benfica star Otamendi, who won two Premier League titles in a five-year stint with City, is said to be “doing well” after the attack, which happened early on Monday morning in his home south of Lisbon after he returned from his side’s Primeira Liga match against Famalicao on Sunday.
According to a report by Portuguese outlet Correio da Manha, the gang attacked the defender as he returned home and forced themselves through the front door while his wife and child were inside.
Further reports state that a belt was placed around his neck in order to restrain him and get him to reveal the location of valuables within his home.
CNN Portugal add that the thieves got away with cash and other valuables, and that the Portuguese Judiciary Police have launched an investigation into the robbery – with a private security firm hired to guard the footballer’s home from any further attacks.
Initial reporting also suggests that as many as seven men could have been involved, with suggestions that those responsible are from Eastern Europe.
It has also been claimed that the robbery was conducted like a ‘military raid‘, and that the thieves were wore gloves and balaclavas and communicated with one another by using walkie-talkies.
Police are also investigating a possible lead that the gang might also be responsible for various other robberies of professional footballers.
There have been similar incidents involving Porto midfielder Otavio as well as Celta de Vigo striker Iago Aspas, who lives just over Portugal’s northern border.
A statement from his club confirmed that Otamendi “was the victim of a robbery at his home during the early hours”.
“The player and his family are doing well despite the enormous discomfort generated by the situation they are experiencing.
“Benfica asks that the privacy of the player and his family be respected by all the media, pending the completion of the investigations initiated by the authorities.”
The 87-cap Argentina international has made 55 appearances for Benfica since arriving in 2020 as part of the deal which took Portugal defender Ruben Dias to City.