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German footballer Mesut Özil and teammate targeted by 'armed car-jackers'

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German footballer Mesut Özil and teammate targeted by 'armed car-jackers'
German footballer Mesut Özil and his Arsenal teammate Sead Kolasinac. Photo: DPA
11:18 CEST+02:00
German footballer Mesut Özil and his Arsenal teammate Sead Kolasinac were attacked by 'knife-wielding car-jackers' in a terrifying ordeal which was captured on video and circulated on social media.

In the footage, the Premier League club's Bosnian defender Kolasinac is seen leaping from the vehicle to confront the masked aggressors, who had pulled up alongside the car on mopeds in the Golders Green district of north London on Thursday evening.

Both attackers appeared to brandish knives at the 26-year-old Kolasinac. A YouTube video by the German football channel TeamEvil shows, through repeat footage, how Kolasinac fought off one of the attackers. 

"We have been in contact with both players and they are fine," said a spokesman for Arsenal.

Police confirmed that they had responded to reports of an attempted robbery.

"It was reported that suspects on motorbikes had attempted to rob a man who was driving a car," a spokesman for the Met Police told AFP.

"The driver, along with his passenger, managed to get away unharmed and travelled to a restaurant in Golders Green, where they were spoken to by officers.

"There have been no arrests. Enquiries continue."

Kolasinac and midfielder Özil are not the first footballers to be targeted on London's streets.

In 2016, Andy Carroll, a former West Ham player, was threatened at gunpoint on his way home from training.

Controversy last year

In June former German international footballer Özil was married in Istanbul with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his best man.

READ ALSO: Five key dates in the Mesut Özil saga

The 30-year-old, who has Turkish family roots, sparked controversy last year when he was photographed with Erdogan, raising questions about the footballer's loyalty to Germany on the eve of their disastrous 2018 World Cup campaign.

After 92 appearances for Germany, including a key role in the 2014 World Cup victory, Özil suddenly quit the national squad last July, accusing German football officials of racism.

READ ALSO: DFB president Grindel admits to mistakes in Özil affair

 
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