A trip to watch the Madrid derby ended in disaster for Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp yesterday after he was mugged by local thieves.
The 63-year-old was in the Spanish capital to take in the second leg of the quarter-final clash of the Copa del Rey, which saw Real beat local rivals Atletico 1-0 to reach the last four of the competition.
Redknapp’s evening took a turn for the worse prior to kick-off when he and Spurs assistant manager Kevin Bond were walking around the Vicente Calderon stadium.
Two unknown men approached Redknapp, fell to their knees and started tugging at his trouser leg to distract him while four others snatched cash and other belongings from his pockets.
“I’m walking round the outside of the stadium, it’s a fantastic atmosphere, there’s all little stalls there selling sweets,” Redknapp explained.
“I got some sweets, me and Kevin, and it was so packed. The next thing there’s two guys on their knees in front of me and I felt someone pull my overcoat. I thought ‘What’s that?’, and didn’t take any notice.
“The next thing there’s two guys on their knees in front of me and they’ve got my trousers and they keep doing this (tugging) with them, pulling them. I thought ‘What are you doing?’ The next thing he’s got my keys on the floor.
“I didn’t know whether to knee him in the gob or not. And I thought ‘Is he a blind man or someone having trouble walking properly? What are they doing, these two blokes?’
“I’m going: ‘Let go of my trousers’, pushing them away. While I’m doing that they’re rifling my pockets, there were about six of them. And then they went. I thought ‘What are they doing?’ I went to put my hand in my pockets and realised what they’d done. They took everything. All my money, credit cards, everything really.”
Luckily for Redknapp, his passport remained untouched in his top pocket and he also did not lose his phone. The Tottenham boss did not report the incident to police and had to borrow money from Mr Bond to pay for a taxi back to his hotel and for dinner last night before returning to the UK.