Roma player Chris Smalling held by armed robbers in Rome home

Smalling robbed at gunpoint in front of wife and two-year-old son.

AS Roma defender Chris Smalling and his family were victims of an armed robbery in the early hours of this morning, Friday 16 April, reports Italian newspaper Gazzetto dello Sport.

The intruders held Smalling, his model wife Sam and their two-year-old son Leo at gunpoint inside their home, a villa in the Appia Antica area, between Ardeatina and EUR in southern Rome.

The England defender was asleep when three armed and hooded men broke in during the night, forcing him to open the family's safe and hand over his Rolex, jewellery and other valuables.

Smalling's wife called the police at around 05.00 this morning, with officers arriving promptly to find the family "very distressed" after what the Gazzetto describes as a "night of terror."

Police are investigating the incident while AS Roma has pledged to help and support the player and his family any way it can.

Smalling was not available for Roma’s Europa League quarter-finals second leg last night against Ajax due to a knee injury.

Smalling joined the Italian side from Manchester United on a permanent deal last year, and has been playing in Rome since the summer of 2019.

The footballer spoke to The Athletic in October 2019 about his "beautiful house" in the Italy. "It's 700 years old, just outside Rome. It's surrounded by greenery which is important with our dogs. Everyone is here now and that feels good."

Last November the Monteverde villa of AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca was broken into, with thieves stealing watches, jewellery and other personal items valued at around €100,000.