Criminal gang accused of breaking into Verratti's house targeted mansions of Lionel Messi and Rafael Nadal: Reports

Rafael Nadal and Lionel Messi targeted
Rafael Nadal and Lionel Messi targeted

According to The Mirror, the criminal gang accused of breaking into the holiday home of PSG midfielder Marco Verratti also had their sights set on the mansions of Lionel Messi and tennis great Rafael Nadal.

Police confirmed last week that several suspects had been arrested following the break-in at Verratti's £2.5 million villa on the Spanish party island of Ibiza.

The property belongs to former Brazil forward Ronaldo, who rented the luxury spot out to the Italian star during his summer break. Detectives announced the arrests after recovering most of the stolen items when they held two men as they disembarked a car ferry in the Costa Blanca port of Denia.

Lionel Messi and Rafa Nadal were 'targets' after Marco Verratti's £2.5m villa was…

The Mirror report also quotes Diario de Ibiza, a local newspaper in the area, which published extracts of hand-written notes seized from one of the suspect's homes. The names included Messi and Nadal, as well as Real Madrid legends Guti and Fernando Hierro and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.

The suspect's notebook also contained a note about 'PortoCristo. Nadal Mallorca,'. This was a reference to the £3 million mansion owned by the 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal, where he lives with his wife Mery Perello.

Messi's name was referenced in the notes but no address details were found. The Spanish police recently released a statement about the incident.

Marco Verratti’s Ibiza holiday home is robbed of over £2.5MILLION worth of cash and jewellery

Spanish police release statement and video footage of arrests

Footage was released by the Spanish police of officers surrounding an Audi at gunpoint, ordering the two men inside out of the vehicle before handcuffing them and forcing them to the ground.

Cash, jewelry and other valuables stolen from Verratti’s villa in the early hours of Sunday, June 26, were found in the car. Five arrests subsequently took place in Malaga.

In a statement released, the Spanish national police, said on the arrests, as quoted in the previously referenced Mirror report:

“Officers have smashed an itinerant criminal organization specializing in breaking into luxury villas following a robbery at the house of a well-known footballer. Seven people belonging to a criminal gang of Albanian origin which had allegedly just stolen £2.5m in designer watches and jewelry, have been arrested."
"The belongings stolen during the raid on the footballer’s villa were recovered in the car two of the suspected members of the gang were using after they were arrested. Three searches were subsequently carried out in Malaga and one in Ibiza and evidence found linking the gang to another 15 raids on luxury villas in the provinces of Alicante, Malaga and Murcia.”
Verratti was robbed of jewellery and money totalling €3m while staying at Ronaldo Nazario's villa in Ibiza.[Gazzetta]

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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