French prosecutors have launched investigations into robberies linked to two Paris Saint-Germain players after thieves targeted the home of Angel Di Maria and another group broke into the house of Marquinhos‘ father as the teammates were playing for the club.
PSG said it has decided to temporarily reinforce security near the houses of all its players. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were already using their own personal security guards at their homes, sources told ESPN.
Nanterre prosecutor’s office secretary general Marion Chalaux told The Associated Press on Monday that the investigation is being handled by a special police unit dealing with armed robberies and serious burglaries.
The unit was already in charge of inquiries into similar cases linked to PSG players Mauro Icardi and Sergio Rico, whose houses were also burgled during matches this year.
Chalaux said intruders managed to sneak into Di Maria’s home in the posh Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine on Sunday without being noticed.
According to L’Equipe newspaper, the thieves took watches and jewelry from a safe for an estimated loss of more than €500,000 ($597,000). Chalaux could not confirm the value.
Around the same time, another group of intruders broke into the home of PSG captain Marquinhos’ father, the Versailles prosecutor’s office told the AP, adding that investigators are assessing whether the two burglaries were linked.
Marquinhos posted a statement on Instagram that read: “The business representatives of PSG and Brazil’s Marquinhos can confirm that during the match against Nantes, his parents’ home was burgled while his parents were present in the residence but nobody was hurt and everyone is doing well, it was more fear than anything bad. The French authorities have opened an investigation.”
Le Parisen newspaper said Marquinhos’ father was briefly detained while thieves searched the house in the town of Chatou and stole luxury bags, jewelry, various other items and €2,000 ($2,385) in cash.
The newspaper said two teenagers were present in the house and that the three victims were locked in a room.
According to L’Equipe, Marquinhos’s father was hit several times in the face and chest. The Versailles prosecutor’s office confirmed the incident.
Quoting the police, Le Parisien said the thieves mistakenly targeted the home of Marquinhos’ father thinking it was the player’s house.
They live close to each other. Di Maria was substituted during the second half of PSG’s 2-1 loss to Nantes after club officials were made aware of the incident.
Around the hour mark, PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino left the field for a few moments following an earlier discussion with sporting director Leonardo, who was on his cell phone.
Pochettino then accompanied Di Maria back to the locker room with his arm around him.
A few years ago when he was playing for Manchester United in the Premier League, Di Maria had been the victim of an attempted burglary while at his home, but the alarm sounded before visitors got inside.
Additional reporting by Julien Laurens