Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria was withdrawn midway through the second half of Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Nantes after learning that his home had been broken into during the game – with his family still inside.
Shortly after the hour mark, director Leonardo was seen on the phone, after which he yelled down to manager Mauricio Pochettino to inform him of the situation. The boss quickly brought Di Maria off the field, and after a brief exchange to let him know what was going on, the winger raced down the tunnel and back home.
Some early reports on the incident, including from RMC Sport, suggested it was a ‘violent’ robbery, for which Di Maria took the club’s private security team to his house to try and get the situation under control.
However, Le Parisien note that while Di Maria’s family were at home at the time, they were on a different floor when the robbers entered and did not actually see what was going on.
Parisian police quickly arrived at the scene and determined that those responsible had made off with the contents of an upstairs safe.
Di Maria’s family were also targeted in the past during the Argentine’s time with Manchester United. He managed just one year at Old Trafford between 2014 and 2015 and has since suggested his poor form was not helped by fears for his safety in Manchester.
To make matters worse, Di Maria wasn’t the only PSG player whose family was targeted. Centre-back Marquinhos, who played the full 90 minutes, did not find out his parents had been held hostage by burglars until the end of the game.
Fortunately, his parents are understood to be safe and the ordeal was over by late Sunday night, according to local sources.
Marquinhos had his own home broken into in January 2020, while Sergio Rico, Thiago Silva and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting have all been targeted by Parisian burglars in the last 18 months.
“We started the match well, we made the difference,” Pochettino said (via GFFN) of his side’s performance. “After the equaliser, the match became more open, we suffered, we struggled. We were not strong enough. It was a difficult match.
“We missed the opportunity to go top of the table, we lost points. It makes things more difficult but there are still a lot of matches left. It is always frustrating to drop points. For a Champions League match, there was a lot of physical and mental energy demanded. And now we can see that we struggled.
“There are situations outside of football that also explain the second half. It is not an excuse but it brought about a reduction in energy. At full-time, we spoke about things other than football.”