The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Barcelona striker and his wife assaulted in armed robbery in their home

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the victim of an apparent armed robbery. (Josep Lago/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

This report has been updated with information on Aubameyang’s injury.

Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his wife were reportedly assaulted early Monday morning when four hooded and armed men broke into his home, forcing him to open a safe to steal jewelry and other valuables.

Spain’s El Pais newspaper reported Monday that Aubameyang and his wife, Alysha Behague, suffered minor injuries in the incident. On Tuesday, ESPN and Sky Sports reported that Aubameyang had a minor jaw fracture and would be sidelined roughly three weeks, and Aubameyang referenced the jaw injury in an Instagram post Wednesday about the incident.

“On Sunday night, some violent cowards broke into our home and threatened my family and my children, just to steal some stuff,” Aubameyang wrote, thanking fans for their concern and best wishes. “They injured my jaw, but I will recover in no time and thank God no one else was physically harmed. The feeling that we are no longer safe in our own house is hard to understand and describe, but, as a family, we will overcome this and stand stronger than ever.”

Aubameyang and Behague were reportedly handcuffed and tied up during the robbery, which occurred at roughly 1 a.m. They were threatened with firearms and iron bars, El Pais said, and the robbers fled the scene in a white Audi A3.

Aubameyang’s home in suburban Castelldefels has been targeted by burglars twice in the past two months. He and his family were not at home when the first break-in occurred, police said. The men threatened and struck Aubameyang and Behague, according to reports, and demanded that they open the safe.

Last week, a watch valued at more than $70,000 was stolen from the car of Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski as he stopped for supporters while en route to training. He attempted to chase the thief, who later was apprehended.

Europe’s top-flight players have been targeted by criminals several times recently. In December, Manchester City defender João Cancelo was assaulted at his home in England and Benfica defender Nicolás Otamendi was attacked during a robbery at his home in Portugal. The Barcelona homes of Gerard Piqué, Ansu Fati, Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti and Coutinho have been broken into during games, police have said. Players in Madrid, Seville and Valencia have been targeted in similar incidents.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, who also live in the Castelldefels seaside suburb, have hired private security firms to protect their homes. Thieves stole jewelry and cash worth thousands from Messi’s Paris hotel room last year.

Meanwhile, star midfielder Paul Pogba said authorities in Italy and France are investigating what he said are extortion attempts and threats from an organized gang. Pogba, the French national who left Manchester United and rejoined Italian Serie A club Juventus in July, said in a statement that “the competent bodies in Italy and France were informed a month ago and there will be no further comments in relation to the ongoing investigation.”

The French prosecutor’s office confirmed to Reuters that an investigation has begun. “I confirm that an investigation was opened on 3 August 2022 on the charge of attempted extortion by an organized criminal gang. The investigations have been entrusted to the OCLCO [the Central Bureau for Combating Organized Crime],” the prosecutor’s office said.

Loading...