Nuri Sahin said the horror of the attack on Borussia Dortmund’s team bus was at the forefront of his thoughts and confessed he didn’t want to play at all against Monaco on Wednesday.
Three explosions left Dortmund defender Marc Bartra hospitalised and prompted the quarter-final first leg to be pushed back from Tuesday to Wednesday. Coach Thomas Tuchel criticised the decision to make Dortmund play less than 24 hours removed from the attack.
Monaco left Signal Iduna Park with a 3-2 victory, but Dortmund were much-improved after the break, with half-time substitute Sahin aiding his side’s recovery from a 2-0 deficit at the interval.
And midfielder Sahin spoke of the difficulty he and his team-mates had gone through in playing the game.
“It’s hard to talk about, it’s hard to find the right words,” the Turkey international told Viasport.
“It’s hard to talk about it, hard to find the right words [about the attack]. No, of course we did not want to play, but we knew we had responsibilities, we represent one of the biggest clubs in the world, it’s a big competition, the Champions League.
We tried to give everything we could and in this situation, we still played a good game. Football is really nothing after what we have experienced.
“We saw a lot of times on TV and it was far, far away – even when it was in Istanbul in my country on New Year’s Eve, it was close but also very far from us.
“Last night we felt how it is to be in a situation like this. I don’t wish anyone a feeling like this.
“I don’t know if people can understand this but until I was on the pitch in the second half I didn’t think about football to be honest.
“Last night I didn’t realise what had happened, and when I was at home and my wife and son were waiting in front of the door, there I felt how lucky we were.
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“I know football is very important. We love football, we suffer with football, we love football. I know we earn a lot of money, have a privileged life, but we are human beings and there is so much more than football in this world and last night we felt it.
“When you were in the bus last night I can’t forget the faces, I will never forget the faces in my life for sure when I saw Marc there and I sit next to Schmelle I will never forget Schmelle’s face.”