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SPORTS | 31-05-2024 16:49

New threats against Ángel Di María amid rumoured return to Rosario

There have been two incidents aimed at the football star.

A petrol station in Rosario was shot at on Wednesday evening and the perpetrators left a threatening note addressed to footballer Ángel Di María.

The incident came a day after strangers vandalised a mural dedicated to the current Benfica de Portugal player and 2022 World Cup winner.

Di María is currently deciding his future. Reports emerged last week that the player might return and play a season with Rosario Central, his hometown club where he made his debut in Argentina's top flight.

The ex-Argentina and Juventus star also has an offer from Inter Miami, where his countryman Lionel Messi plays.

“The investigation over the graffiti on the mural was added to the one over the shoot-out last night,” said Sebastián Carranza, spokesman of the Rosario Regional Prosecution, on Thursday. 

On Wednesday evening, at around 10.30pm local time, two people on a motorcycle approached a petrol station in Rosario and fired four shots at the shop’s armoured glass.

“They left a threatening note addressed to Di María,” Carranza confirmed.

The first incident took place on Tuesday evening. The police reported that after a match played by Rosario Central versus Uruguayan club Peñarol, in the Copa Libertadores, a mural dedicated to Di María at the local El Torito football club, where the striker played in the lower divisions, was vandalised.

“You’re still coming back???”, wrote the vandals on the mural showing the face of 'Fideo,' an idol of the local club.

Investigators also found notes with jokes aimed at Rosario Central, which lost its match versus Peñarol. However, what was initially interpreted as inside jokes started to look different after the shoot-out incident on Wednesday evening.

“For the time being, there is nothing linking them, but nothing ruling out either, one fact with the other, that is why they are being investigated jointly,” Carranza told reporters.

Di María’s relatives were threatened back in March at the private gated community where they live, and a young man was arrested.

The main hypothesis of the case is that the youth used the figure of Di María to cause a “public commotion."

In 2023, a shop belonging to the relatives of Antonela Roccuzzo, Lionel Messi’s wife – both from Rosario, like Di María – had been fired at by gunmen.

Rosario, some 310km north of Buenos Aires, has been in the grip of drug violence for several decades.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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