JOAO CANCELO shared a snap of his battered face after he was ‘assaulted by four cowards’ as he protected his family in their home.
The Manchester City star, 27, told his story to his two million Instagram followers along with a picture of his cut head and bruised eye.
Police are investigating the incident.
Cancelo suggested he attempted to fight back – claiming he ‘showed resistance’ – as the thugs threatened partner Daniela Machado and daughter Alicia, two, before excaping with jewellery.
The Portuguese defender, who has enjoyed another superb season at the Etihad so far in 2021-22, captioned the shocking image: “Unfortunately today I was assaulted by four cowards who hurt me and tried to hurt my family.
“When you show resistance this is what happens.
“They managed to take all my jewellery and leave me with my face in this state.
“I don’t know how there are people with such meanness.”
Cancelo continued: “The most important thing for me is my family and luckily they are all OK.
“And I after so many obstacles in my life, this is just one more that I will overcome.
“Firm and strong, like always.”
Premier League leaders City said in a statement: “We are shocked and appalled that Joao Cancelo and his family were subjected to a burglary at their home this evening during which Joao was also assaulted.
“Joao and his family are being supported by the club and he is helping the police with their enquiries as they investigate this very serious matter.”
Cancelo joined City from Juventus for £60million in 2019 and has gone on to play 101 times in all competitions.
The 31-cap Portugal star has been in sensational form this season, scoring three times in 25 matches, including a screamer against Newcastle earlier this month.
Cancelo helped City reclaim their Prem crown last term and also played a huge role as Pep Guardiola’s side reached the Champions League final.
The star isn’t the first footballer to be targeted by thugs this season.
In September, Chelsea ace Reece James, 21, released shocking CCTV footage of the moment a group of robbers broke into his house and snatched a safe containing his Champions League, Super Cup and Euro 2020 medals.
A month later, The Sun revealed an unnamed Premier League star was attacked by masked thugs with machetes in his own home and then tied up along with his terrified partner.
And in March, Everton goalkeeper Robin Olsen was confronted by a gang with machetes during a terrifying burglary.
The 31-year-old was at home with his wife and two young children when the gang wearing balaclavas smashed their way in and demanded valuables which the Swedish international handed over.
Just weeks before, then Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti was also targeted at his families rented home in Cheshire.