Manchester United star Angel Di Maria was eating a family dinner at his Cheshire home when violent burglars started smashing windows in an attempted raid.
The Argentina midfielder was reportedly left shaken after a gang tried forcing their way through the patio doors of his home on Saturday night, hours after he featured in United's 3-1 Premier League win over Leicester City.
It was only when an alarm sounded at the home that the intruders fled the premises empty handed.
The 26-year-old became Britain's most expensive player in August 2014 when he signed for the Old Trafford club from Real Madrid for £59.7m.
Footballers have repeatedly been targeted by thieves but most of the attacks come while players are away with their home.
Items at the home of Maria's United team mate Darren Fletcher were stolen in a raid while the Scot was playing in Italy in February 2009, while Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was one of several Liverpool players to have had their homes raided during an 18-month spell from 2005.
Thieves escaped with a Rolex watch and car keys after breaking into the Merseyside house as he was in France playing for his club in Marseille in the Champions League.