Tottenham defender Emerson Royal escaped injury during an attempted armed robbery in Sao Paulo and thanked an off-duty police officer who he said "risked his own life" by intervening.
Royal was targeted by a thief who drew a gun and demanded his belongings during an incident outsight a nightclub in his native Brazil.
Police said the officer pursued the assailant and exchanged fire with him, while the footballer escaped unharmed.
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"I will be forever grateful to you," Royal wrote in an Instagram post.
"God sends angels to earth, this is confirmed every day in my life. This human being, I call him an angel, risked his own life to save mine," the Brazilian right-back added.
Local media reported that the man exchanged 29 shots with the officer before being wounded in the back.
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Royal is currently on holiday in his home country and had been partying with his family and friends at the New Trips nightclub.
He was targeted shortly after leaving the club just before 03:00 local time.
"I was celebrating and on the way out, this whole affair happened, which was very bad," the star's father, Emerson Zulu, told the Globo Esporte newspaper. "A horror scene indeed. I don't wish that on anyone.
"He [the policeman] went, as usual, with Royal to the car and when he realized there was a robbery and the criminal was pointing the gun at Emerson, at the time the criminal got distracted, the policeman started to exchange shots with him.
"There were around five or six people with him. Each one went to a side running, dodging, because they didn't know where the shots were coming from."
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