Marcos Rojo's family fear for their lives in Argentina

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Marcos Rojo has growing concerns over the safety of his family in Argentina after some of the Manchester United defender's nearest and dearest have been targeted by criminal gangs as a result of his rising fame and fortune.

The Sun reports that the £16 million summer signing from Sporting Lisbon - who earns £200,000-a-week at Old Trafford - has become increasingly worried about the welfare of certain relatives that have profited from his climb to Premier League stardom.

Growing up around El Triunfo in La Plata, 40 miles from Buenos Aires, Rojo's current lifestyle is a million miles from his modest upbringing in South America, and now some of the flesh and blood that have stayed in his homeland are living in fear of being murdered.

"We are always scared. They target us because of Marcos," confirmed Rojo's sister Noelia. "They know the house, everyone knows. We have to take every precaution and we don't answer the door to anyone.

"We had to put bars on all our windows — the front, the back and the doors upstairs. It's dangerous being Marcos Rojo's family. But we won't leave because this is our home."

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Criminals have already beaten up Rojo's dad and put a gun to his mother's head in previous attacks, and in March last year raiders stormed into his childhood home and threatened to kill his nine-year-old sister Sol and godson, aged one.

Rojo's brother Franco confirmed that his sibling has provided financial help to many members of his family but that has prompted delinquents to try and extort cash from them.

"Marcos provides the whole family with financial help," he confirmed. "It's meant we can move to a new house. He's saved us all. There are a lot of robberies, fighting and even deaths.

"Football was his saviour. He always did football since he was a little boy. Always football, day and night.

"My parents put everything into Marcos being a footballer," - Franco Rojo

"My parents put everything into Marcos being a footballer. He was always training and they made sure that he never missed a session. They knew that he could help get us out of the barrio which we lived in."

Injury problems stalled Rojo's early progress at Manchester United, but after regaining his fitness he's established himself as a regular starter in Louis van Gaal's line-up after seeking advice from one of the club's former players and La Plata's other footballing hero Juan Sebastian Veron.

The World Cup finalist scored his first goal for the club in the Red Devils' 3-0 win over League Two outfit Cambridge United in the recent FA Cup fourth round replay, and still has aspirations of winning a trophy in his debut campaign in England.

"Manchester United is the first big team he's played for," added Franco. "He always wanted to be Veron and would pretend to be him when playing football in the house.

"He spoke to him before the move and he supported it."

The jury is still out on whether Rojo will become a permanent fixture in the side long-term, but one thing's certain is that Manchester United have looked significantly more solid when the former Spartak Moscow and Estudiantes star is playing.

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