Claudio Marchisio has revealed details of an armed robbery at his home earlier this week, telling of how five men held the former Juventus star and his wife at gunpoint.
The ex-Italy midfielder, who announced his retirement earlier this month, was targeted by the armed gang at his property in Vinovo, Turin, on Tuesday.
Marchisio was made to hand over valuable possessions but both he and his wife were left physically unharmed.
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Reliving the horrific ordeal, the 33-year-old told Corriere della Sera: "They had their guns pointed at our heads. It was tough, as I'd never seen two real guns before.
"Fortunately, we managed to stay clear-headed. There were five men who broke into our home in Vinovo, they were asking me where we kept the safe.
"I told them we didn't have one, but they didn't believe me. We really don't. At that point, they took everything they could find and then left.
"I was frightened for myself and my wife Roberta. Thank heavens the kids weren't at home. They'd gone to play football and their grandfather hadn't brought them back yet.
"In fact, their coach was the first to suspect something was wrong, because we didn't answer the phone.
"When the robbers realised someone was concerned, they started to rush. That was a stroke of real luck."
Marchisio added: "I know these incidents happen all the time, all over the world. This time it happened to us and fortunately we are safe and sound to tell the tale.
"That's the most important thing, because I care little for the material possessions that were taken.
"What remains is the fear but, despite it all, we were able to stay calm, even with a gun pointed to our heads."
Marchisio won 15 major trophies with boyhood club Juventus, including seven Serie A titles, before joining Zenit in 2018 and spending a single season in Russia before his retirement.