Sunday, Angel Di Maria and the entourage of Marquinhos were burgled during the meeting between Paris Saint-Germain and Nantes. The PSG appears regularly in recent months in the police-justice columns for similar facts. And the scourge does not stop only at the borders of the capital.
Seeing Leonardo come down from the boxes at the Parc des Princes to chat with his coaches is a most unusual scene. So, when a few minutes later, Mauricio Pochettino brought out Angel Di Maria before accompanying him to the locker room at the hour mark between Paris Saint-Germain and Nantes, the concern quickly grew. This replacement quickly unveiled its mysteries, PSG announcing in the wake of the meeting that his Argentinian player had been the victim of a burglary at his home, while his relatives were there. Violence, forcible confinement… Certain uncertainties remain. But they do not call into question the growing list of thefts of this kind around the world of football.
Besides Di Maria, the home of Marquinhos’ parents was also burgled, the family of the Brazilian defender being the victim of “home-jacking”. The player announced late in the evening that “everyone is well“, although his father would have been struck by the attackers. Since November 2018, burglaries or attempted burglaries have multiplied within the workforce of Paris Saint-Germain. Dani Alves, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting twice in barely a month, Marquinhos (already), then Sergio Rico and Mauro Icardi last January… A total of at least seven PSG players were affected by these offenses. Luxury effects, cash… the loot can reach more of a million euros, as was the case for the former Parisian captain Thiago Silva.
Footballers have been regularly targeted by thefts in France in recent months, and not just at Paris Saint-Germain. Several Dijon players (Nayef Aguerd, Mounir Chouiar then Mickaël Alphonse) had seen their homes be burgled a few weeks apart last season. In 2014, the “football gang”, a team of burglars, was convicted of seven burglaries against FC Metz players. Two same points in common: targeted actions against players in the round ball, and regularly carried out during meetings or known periods of absence, favorable times to carry out mischief.
These are part of a period of growing insecurity, despite increasingly sophisticated means of private surveillance. According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, home burglaries increased by 22.1% between 2010 and 2019 in France. Other acts of armed violence or aggression, in particular suffered in recent years by Olympique de Marseille players such as Bouna Sarr or Florian Thauvin, are also to be deplored in French football. Last August, Stéphanois Denis Bouanga had been robbed during his sleep.
However, the phenomenon is far from isolated. Angel Di Maria knows a thing or two about it. Then a Manchester United player, the Argentina international had seen criminals trying to break into his home while he was there, accompanied by his family. The alarm had finally dissuaded the troublemakers, but the shock had been great for the player and his entourage. Di Maria then decided to leave England a few months later to join PSG. “From there it was not reasonable to stay there, he explained to the Parisian in September 2015. My family was not well, my daughter was in pain. So the most important thing was to leave.“Last Friday,” El Fideo “was pleased to extend the adventure with the club of the capital for an additional season.