Arsenal legend Nwankwo Kanu had over £8,000 ($11,000) in cash stolen from his suitcase in Moscow after he arrived from London.
Mirror Sport reports the Russian police said it was filched by two loaders at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
Kanu, 41, reported the money missing when he reached Kaliningrad, where he was playing in a World Cup curtain raiser game organised by FIFA.
Lieutenant colonel Irina Volk, spokeswoman for the Russian Interior Ministry, said the loaders were dealing with the baggage from a London to Moscow flight.
Kanu, travelling on a British passport, had appealed for help to police in Kaliningrad.
“The stolen cash was removed (from the loaders) and will soon be returned to the owner”, she said.
The loaders, aged 30 and 36, face criminal investigation and could be sent to jail for up to six years.
Kanu played alongside other global stars in a FIFA legends team against a Russian legends side.
The ex-Arsenal striker, a former Nigerian international, did not mention the theft in speaking to the media in the Baltic city, where England will play on 28 June.
“Kaliningrad is a very nice city with very nice people,” said Nwankwo Kanu.
“It’s really good to be here. The stadium is fantastic, I liked the atmosphere inside and also enjoyed being in the players’ dressing room.
“The pitch is marvellous and, actually, that’s all you need as a player.
“The FIFA World Cup is the greatest football tournament on the planet – every team dreams of being part of it and I am sure it will be a very special event in Russia.
“ Nigeria will be a big surprise, for sure. We have good young and talented players; they are hungry for victories and want to do well – for themselves and for the country.”
Kanu was a member of the Super Eagles squad at the 1998, 2002 and 2010 World Cups.