A visibly haunted Nuri Sahin admitted football was the very last thing on his mind during Borussia Dortmund‘s hastily rearranged Champions League game with Monaco following the shocking bomb attack on the team bus on Tuesday evening.
Three explosions saw windows shattered and defender Marc Bartra seriously injured in what police have now confirmed is being treated as a possible terror attack just hours before the two sides were scheduled to meet in the quarter-final first-leg at Signal Iduna Park.
The incident saw the game immediately postponed and rearranged for Wednesday evening with the French visitors eventually coming out on top 3-2 ahead of the second-leg.
Borussia Dortmund Team bus attack
Many, including manager Thomas Tuchel, were critical of the timing of the match suggesting the players and staff involved needed more time to come to terms with what had happened to them just 24 hours before.
And in a moving interview on Scandinavian TV, Sahin admitted the horror scenes of Tuesday evening will stay with him forever.
“It is hard to talk about it and hard to find the right words,” he said. “I don’t know if people can understand this but until I was on the pitch in the second half I did not think about football to be honest.
“I know football is very important, we love football, we suffer with football and I know we earn a lot of money and have a privileged life but we are human beings, there is so much more than football in this world, last night we felt it.
“When I was on the bus last night, I can’t forget the faces, I will never forget those faces. It was unbelievable.”
Boss Tuchel was left furious after the match suggesting his team were forced to play against their wishes.
Monaco fans sing Dortmund songs after hearing of team bus explosion
“We were informed by text message that UEFA was making this decision,” he said.
“A decision made in Switzerland that concerns us directly. We will not forget it, it is a very bad feeling.
“A few minutes after this attack, the only question that was asked was, ‘Are you ready to play?’. As if we had thrown a beer on our coach.
“At that time, we did not know the reasons for this attack. There is a feeling of helplessness. The date was imposed on us. What we think has not interested anyone. We weren’t asked about playing the game.
“We were attacked as men and we tried to solve the problem on the ground.
“Everyone has their own way of reacting to events. The players had the choice not to play but no one chose this option.”