Roma midfielder Bryan Cristante has revealed how he successfully fought off two thieves who attempted to steal his Rolex watch.
The Italy international was stopped at a set of traffic lights in his car near Roma’s Stadio Olimpico when the incident happened on Friday morning.
Il Messaggero reports that one of the assailants attempted to get into his Porsche Cayenne and steal a Rolex watch from his wrist, but Cristante managed to punch him to the floor, forcing him and another man to drive away on a scooter.
Two plainclothes policemen who were nearby noticed the scuffle, but the pair had managed to flee before they could intervene.
"It was 10:30am and I was in my car waiting between Viale Angelico and Viale delle Milizie for the red light to change,” Cristante told Il Messaggero.
“All of a sudden a person with a helmet tried to get into my car, grabbed my wrist and tried to steal my watch.
“I reacted by punching his helmet twice, which split the visor. The robber fell to the ground and I could see he didn't know what to do before an accomplice arrived on a T-Max (scooter) and they drove away.”
Cristante has made 21 appearances for Roma so far this season, scoring once. It is his second season in the Italian capital having joined initially on loan from fellow Serie A outfit Atalanta in the summer of 2018.
The 25-year-old and his Roma team-mates are preparing for their first game back after the coronavirus shutdown at home to Sampdoria on Wednesday. Paulo Fonseca’s side are currently fifth in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Atalanta, who have a game in hand.
Italian football resumed earlier this month with the Coppa Italia semi-finals and final, with Napoli overcoming Juventus on penalties to win the title for a sixth time on Wednesday.
The remaining 124 Serie A matches will now be played out over 43 days, starting on Saturday with the four remaining fixtures from gameweek 25 - all of which were postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak in March.
Juventus currently lead the table by one point ahead of Lazio as they seek a ninth-successive Scudetto.