Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Rovers star's wife in raid ordeal

Roque Santa Cruz
Roque Santa Cruz was in Portsmouth during the robbery

The wife of Blackburn Rovers star Roque Santa Cruz was threatened at knifepoint during a robbery at the couple's home in Greater Manchester.

Three masked men forced their way into the house in Bowdon, near Altrincham, on Saturday, while the striker was in Portsmouth ahead of a match.

They threatened the 24-year-old before forcing her to hand over jewellery worth thousands of pounds.

Santa Cruz is the latest in a series of Premier League stars to be targeted.

Masked men entered his house at about 1800 GMT on Saturday before later escaping with what was a described as a "substantial" amount of jewellery.

Players targeted

A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said: "There were no reports of any injuries but the victim was left badly shaken."

Santa Cruz, a Paraguay international striker, signed for Rovers in a 3.3m deal from German side Bayern Munich in July 2007.

Last month, raiders struck at the Salford home of his teammate Zurab Khizanishvili, but fled when disturbed by his wife.

A series of Liverpool players have also had their homes burgled while playing in matches, as well as a number of Cheshire-based Premier League stars.

Lucas Leiva was the latest Reds star to be hit, while other footballers targeted in the north west of England include Peter Crouch and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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