FORMER Newcastle United striker Faustino Asprilla is to leave his home city in Colombia after being threatened by a gang of armed criminals.
The former Toon striker said masked men entered his home - where he had been living with his family - in a bid to get money out of him.
Asprilla, 45, told daily newspaper El Tiempo: “They threatened me.
“They told me to contact their chief because if I didn’t they would kill my family and me.
“I had to leave my own land, Tulua, as a victim of extortion by a group of anti-socials.
“My family was threatened in my presence, my father, my sisters.”
Asprilla made 54 appearances for the Magpies between 1996 and 1998, scoring 12 goals.
One of the highlights of his career on Tyneside was a memorable 22-minute hat-trick in a 3-2 Champions League win over Barcelona in 1997.
Asprilla, who retired 10 years ago, lives on the outskirts of Tulua in southwest Colombia.