CCTV footage from Thursday – which has circulated on social media – purportedly showed Mesut Ozil and his teammate Sead Kolašinac the targets of moped robbers armed with knives near the latter man’s house.
The two players were driving in Ozil’s black Mercedes G-Class 4x4 along Golders Green Road in London when the thieves started pursuing them, Sky News reported.
When the vehicle came to a stop, the robbers attempted to smash the vehicle’s windows with stones and a brick that one appeared to have kept in a rucksack.
According to witnesses, Ozil ran from the vehicle and ducked into a Turkish restaurant called Likya nearby and called for help. Meanwhile, Kolašinac is seen defending himself from the attackers, confronting the masked pair before one of them brandished a metal object.
The waiters and chefs from the restaurant reportedly came to their aid and helped chase the attackers away.
Yasmin Tahsiner, one of the restaurant’s owners, told Sky News that the two soccer players were regular customers, while a witness said Ozil “looked absolutely terrified” and appeared to be “running for his life.”
Azuka Alintah, who lives nearby, said he spotted some of the attackers following Ozil to the restaurant.
“They didn’t take off their helmets and were all in black, wearing long-sleeved tops in this hot weather. They stood out. It was really creepy,” he told the Daily Mail. “God knows what would have happened if they’d caught him. It looked to me like he’d have been hacked to shreds and he clearly thought so too.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman told the BBC that the suspects on the mopeds had attempted to rob Ozil.
“The driver, along with his passenger, managed to get away unharmed and traveled to a restaurant in Golders Green, where they were spoken to by officers,” the spokesman said.
No arrests have been made.
Arsenal confirmed that both players were unharmed, telling Sky News that club was treating it as a “private matter” and would not affect the players’ pre-season training.
Kolašinac tweeted a photo of the two, saying: “Think we’re fine.”
The players had just returned to London from a pre-season tournament in the United States.