A wave of break-ins to the homes of soccer stars in Europe is continuing, and Sunday it reached Eran Zahavi, an Israeli striker for PSV Eindhoven, a Dutch team. Zahavi was with at the stadium preparing for a match against Willem II, but pulled out of the game when he got word that his family had suffered an armed robbery at home.
According to Dutch media reports, the two intruders pretended to be delivery people to gain access to the home. The two were armed and threatened Shai, Zahavi’s wife, who was tied up by the robbers in front of her three children. One report said they cut Shai’s hair.
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According to the Amsterdam police, who took evidence from Zahavi and his wife, the family was not otherwise harmed. They are expected to return to Israel in around a week, after the season ends.
Zahavi, 33, and his family live in Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam, since he signed with Eindhoven in September. Early Sunday morning he had posted a story on his Instagram account with his picture and the caption “Matchday.”
After Ajax nailed the Eredivisie (Dutch first division) championship, Eindhoven has been battling for second place. After a hesitant start, Zahavi began to excel at Einhdhoven, and he has scored 16 goals this season, 10 of them in league games.
In recent years, thieves have been following sports schedules and social media posts to plan robberies of homes belonging to soccer players. Players whose homes were broken into while there were at matches include Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi and Maruinhos from the Paris Saint-Germain club, and Dele Alli of Tottenham.
In July 2019, Roni Rosenthal, a former star on the Israel national team and with Liverpool, was beaten during a break-in at his London home.