Two arrested for 'Mafia' execution of Italian World Cup winner's father-in-law

Italian midfielder Daniele De Rossi during the Euro 2008 championships. His father-in-law was found executed in a suspected Mafia hit

Italian midfielder Daniele De Rossi during the Euro 2008 championships. His father-in-law was found executed in a suspected Mafia hit

Two men have been arrested by police investigating the murder of Italian World Cup winner Daniele De Rossi's father-in-law, who was gunned down in a suspected Mafia hit. 

Massimo Pisnoli, 48, was found with a gunshot wound to his face and back last month in undergrowth near a railway station after going missing for ten days. 

The two men, aged 40 and 48, were held in dawn raids at addresses in Rome.

Police also seized an arsenal of weapons as well as 230grammes of cocaine.

They were held after an investigation led by anti-Mafia prosecutor Giancarlo Capaldo, who had also used undercover officers at Pisnoli's funeral to obtain information.

A Rome police spokesman said: "Two men aged 40 and 48 have been arrested and are those responsible for the murder. It was a through investigation and concluded quickly.

'Both men are Italian and during the arrests weapons as well as 230 grammes of cocaine were also seized. Further details will be given at a news conference later.'

Pisnoli was well known to police. Earlier this week they released footage of him carrying out an armed robbery on a bank in Rome just two weeks before he was found dead at Campoleone station on the outskirts of the city.

The CCTV footage shows him grabbing a customer and putting a knife to her throat as he demands money from cashiers before using her as a shield to get past armed guards at the door.

Police believe two other men were involved in the raid as well as others across the city and the suburbs. Pisnoli was killed after failing to equally share the money, they believe.

Besides being a World Cup winner, De Rossi is well known to Manchester United fans for scoring Roma's only goal when they lost 7-1 at Old Trafford in a Champions League quarter final in April 2007.

He was praised by Sir Alex Ferguson, who was interested in buying him. 

At the time of Pisnoli's murder last month a police source said: 'It was a classic execution: a bullet in the back and one to the mouth.

'He was virtually unrecognisable and his body was found with its arms up in the air. 

'From what we can gather it had been there at least a week and what with the hot weather it was in a pretty bad state.

'He had convictions for robbery and theft and we know he moved in underworld circles. 

'The area where he was found, south Lazio, is home to clans from the Neapolitan Camorra and the Calabrian N'drangheta.'

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