SANTIAGO – West Ham United’s new manager Manuel Pellegrini was targeted by robbers in Santiago, Chile over the weekend.
The 64-year-old, who won the Premier League with Manchester City in 2014, was on his way to a restaurant in Santiago with his wife and two friends when they were targeted by a gang.
His wife had her handbag stolen by the attackers, who shot at police before driving away in a stolen Porsche.
In a Tweet written in Spanish, Pellegrini thanked Chilean police for their “quick and courageous” response.
Felicitaciones a @Carabdechile por su rápida y valiente reacción. Agradezco el apoyo de la gente. Ojalá se le otorguen mas facultades a Carabineros para solucionar el tema de la delincuencia lo antes posible.
— Manuel Pellegrini R. (@Ing_Pellegrini) June 3, 2018
A spokesman for West Ham United said: “We are relieved to hear that Manuel and his wife were both unharmed.”
A police helicopter was mobilised in the hunt for the criminals, whose car was eventually found in a suburb of Santiago called Conchali.
Officers also recovered the handbag they stole, which reportedly belonged to Pellegrini’s wife although police would only confirm it belonged a woman and would not say if it was Carola’s or the female friend she and her husband were with.
They also confirmed the Porsche, taken just a fortnight ago, had false number plates and said they suspected it had been stolen to order so it could subsequently be used to commit other crimes.
No arrests have yet been made.
Chile-born Pellegrini was appointed West Ham boss in May, having previously managed the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, River Plate and, most recently, Chinese club Hebei China Fortune.