FOOTIE star Chris Smalling was forced to hand over £100,000 of watches and jewellery while his wife was held at gunpoint.

The former Manchester United defender, 31, and ex-Page Three girl Sam Cooke, 35, were woken in the early hours by three hooded men who burst into their bedroom.



Police say the gang entered the house by ripping off a window grille and may have drugged the couple’s two dogs.

Smalling’s mum, sister and two-year-old son were also at the villa in Rome, where the star now plays for Roma.

Smalling was ordered to open a safe. The gang then raced off in a waiting car with three Rolexes, gold jewellery and 300 euros.

Sam raised the alarm and cops arrived quickly to the home in the exclusive suburb of Appia Antica. A police car remained outside while a forensic team searched for clues.

Smalling currently has a knee injury and had just returned from watching Roma draw with Ajax — setting up a Europa League semi-final with United.

A police source said they could not rule out him being followed home after the match.

The source added: “All three raiders were armed.


“Officers are now looking at cameras within the villa and in the surrounding area to see what images are available.”

A club source told The Sun: “Chris and his family are very shaken. They were left very frightened but, thankfully, unhurt physically.

“They did the best thing in cooperating and handing over what the gang wanted — there is no point arguing or reasoning with someone holding a gun.”

In November, Roma manager Paulo Fonseca had more than £90,000 of valuables stolen the day before an away match.

Chris and his family were left very frightened but, thankfully, unhurt physically.

Days earlier, burglars struck at the house of forward Joaquin Correa, who plays for local rivals Lazio.

It emerged last night the previous resident of Smalling’s villa — glamorous Italian football commentator Paola Ferrari — was robbed at gunpoint there by masked intruders two years ago.

She said: “I was shocked when I heard about the new robbery.

“It was the house where I was robbed. Why after two years does this story repeat itself?”

Smalling played 323 times for United and won 31 England caps before moving to Roma on loan in 2019.

Last year, he signed a permanent three-year deal worth £18million.

Smalling married Sam in 2017 and became vegan, like her.

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