Angel Di Maria and an unnamed Paris Saint-Germain team-mate had their houses broken into during Sunday’s game with Nantes. However, Di Maria was taken off midway through the second half at Parc des Princes, after a curious discussion between officials – including sporting director Leonardo, who appeared visibly angry – in the stands, and the coaching staff on the touchline over the phone.
What actually happened?
The substitution caused confusion – not only off the pitch, but also on it. PSG conceded just before Di Maria went off, and then again nine minutes later to throw away their lead and ultimately lose 2-1. After Di Maria, who signed a new deal with the capital club earlier this week, went off, Mauricio Pochettino spoke to his compatriot in the dressing room before returning to the touchline.
RMC Sport reported during the game that Di Maria had subsequently left the stadium and that he had been taken off due to a “serious personal matter.” Canal+ and RMC Sport provided a further update at full-time, stating that Di Maria, along with a PSG team-mate, had their homes targeted while the game was ongoing.
According to the media outlets, PSG confirmed the reports, with RMC Sport also claiming that both attacks took place while the respective families of the players were at home. Mauro Icardi suffered a burglary in February, while Di Maria has previously been the victim of such a crime, during his time at Manchester United in 2014-15.
While PSG did not immediately release an official statement, Mauricio Pochettino told a news conference: “There are situations outside of football that also explain the second half. It’s not an excuse but there was a drop in energy. We talked about things other than football after the game in the locker room.”
“The group is very concerned.”