Former Sheffield Wednesday and Juventus striker Darko Kovačević has escaped with his life after being shot at by two men outside his home in Athens.
The 46-year-old was ambushed as he went to park his car in the Greek capital and was lucky to escape with minor injuries after evading a shot fired by the first assailant.
He was taken to hospital for treatment on wrist and knee injuries, though those were not sustained from gunshot wounds – Kovačević managed to avoid serious harm by hurling himself to the ground.
The Mirror report that the two men then fled the scene in a Smart car, which was subsequently found burnt out in the Glyfada neighbourhood, situated south of Athens city centre.
Kovačević spoke of his ordeal after being released from hospital, telling local media: “I saw a man getting out of a car with a gun in his hand and coming towards me.
“I instinctively dived to the right and he fired at me. Then he ran, got into the car and disappeared.”
During a 17-year career, Kovačević regularly scored at the highest level – eventually retiring in 2009 after undergoing heart surgery while playing for Olympiacos. At his peak, he was one of the most consistent strikers in La Liga – and scored more than 15 goals in a single league season on three occasions for Real Sociedad.
His success in the Basque country followed a short spell at Sheffield Wednesday, where Kovačević spent four months after joining from Red Star Belgrade. He also spent two seasons in Turin playing for Juventus before a short, goalless spell at Serie A rivals Lazio.
Internationally, he represented Serbia and Montenegro for ten years, formerly known as Yugoslavia, playing at both the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. Currently he is the Serbian FA’s sports director.
As yet, there is no apparent motive as to why Kovačević was targeted by the two men – and no arrests have been made by local police.