A top footballer had a lucky escape thanks to an off-duty police officer's heroism. Brazil player Emerson Royal was outside a nightclub in Sao Paolo. He was taking photos with the officer. A man with a gun approached him and demanded his watch. The police officer sprang into action and chased the thief. The two got into a 29-shot gunfight. Royal escaped unharmed, but the police officer was shot in the back. He is recovering in hospital.
Mr Royal said he is eternally grateful to the officer. He said: "God sends angels to Earth.…This human being…risked his own life to save mine." Royal's father described the event as a "horror scene". He added: "It all happened in a flash and the adrenaline was running." High-profile footballers have become a target for criminals. The website "Insider" reported there have been over 20 assaults on soccer stars in Europe's top leagues since 2019.