How hard was it for Borussia Dortmund players to face Monaco less than 24 hours after the Dortmund team bus was rocked by three explosions (three devices packed with metal pins) as it left the team hotel to the Dortmund stadium eight miles away?
The shock of the attack was made clear by veteran midfielder Nuri Sahin in an emotional post-game interview on Norwegian
television after Dortmund's 3-2 loss to Monaco.
“Until I was on the pitch in the second half," he said. "I didn’t think about football, to be honest."
Until Tuesday night, attacks like the explosives that hit the BVB bus were something
Sahin, who was born in German to Turkish parents, said his teammates and he only saw on television. (One player, Matthias Ginter, was at the Stade de France in November 2015 when suicide
bombers blew themselves up outside the stadium at the start of the France-Germany friendly.)
“We’ve seen it a lot of times on TV and it was far, far away from us. Even when it
was in Istanbul, in my country, on New Year’s Eve [when 39 people were killed in a terrorist attack at an Istanbul nightclub]. It was close but also very far from us until last night, we felt
how it was to be in a situation like this. I don’t wish anyone the feeling like this.”
Sahin was near tears as he was interviewed by Jan Aage Fjortoft, the former
Norwegian international defender.
“Last night," he said, "I didn’t realize what happened [until] I was at home with my wife and my son, they were waiting at the front
door… and there I felt how lucky we were. I know football is very important. We love football. We suffer with football. We earn a lot of money, we have a privileged life, but we are human
beings. There is so much more than football in this world and last night we felt it."
Sahin said he had goosebumps as Fjortoft reminded him how his teammates and he were lucky no one died
in the attack.
“I will never forget those faces in my life, for sure," he said. "When I saw Marc there. I was sitting next to [captain Marcel Schmelzer]. I will never forget
[Schmelzer’s] face. It was unbelievable.”