A Paris St.-Germain women’s player was taken into custody by French investigators looking into a violent assault on a teammate who shares her position.

The Paris St.-Germain players, champions of France and riding high on a surge of investment in women’s soccer, were in fine spirits as they enjoyed a dinner with club officials last week in a restaurant close to one of the city’s largest parks, the New York Times reports.

Months removed from the squad’s first French title, regulars in Europe’s biggest tournaments and unbeaten in the new season, the team had much to celebrate, and the mood was collegial. As the night out wound down, one of the team’s new signings, Kheira Hamraoui, accepted a ride home from her teammate Aminata Diallo. Car-pooling made sense; both women lived in Chatou, an upscale suburb on the outskirts of Paris, and soon they and a third player were in the car for the half-hour drive home.

As the car approached Hamraoui’s house around 10.30 p.m., however, the journey took a menacing turn. Two masked men emerged from the darkness and dragged Hamraoui out of the passenger seat. Then, according to news media reports later confirmed by the French police, the men beat Hamraoui with a metal bar for several minutes, paying particular attention to the part of the body she most needed to play for one of European soccer’s most successful women’s soccer teams: her legs.

When the beating ended, the men ran off. Diallo, who had been restrained, was apparently unharmed.

By Wednesday, she was a suspect in the attack.

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