As information continues to come out regarding yesterday’s attack on the Dortmund team bus, Hans-Joachim Watzke has been speaking about the incident and the effect it has had on the BVB players.
The Dortmund police have labeled the incident as “a targeted attack on Borussia Dortmund’s team.” It was clearly a very traumatic day for our players and everyone associated with the club, and Watzke says the team was in shock yesterday.
Here are the quotes, courtesy of The Mirror:
“The team is in shock. We must get through this,” admitted Watzke, who also praised the rapid response of the emergency services. “In extreme situations, all Borussia fans move even closer together and I'm sure the team will feel that tomorrow.”
“Technically, it’s possible to play tomorrow. If the players are able to shake this off is an entirely different matter. Of course this is an extremely difficult situation for the players. But they are professionals, and I am convinced that they will put that away and will bring their performance tomorrow.”
"It would be a bad thing for those who did that to succeed, because the team is influenced in some way."
Watzke always knows what to say. He’s right that it will almost certainly still have an effect on the team when they do take the field tomorrow. Hopefully they’re able to channel their emotion into a positive display on the pitch.
Yes the game was delayed, but it is still a very quick turnaround to be ready to play tomorrow.
On top of all the emotional distress, there is still the question of the status of Marc Bartra.
Bartra was the only Dortmund player to need hospital-care after the attack, as he suffered a broken radius in his right wrist. He underwent surgery yesterday on that wrist, which also had a few pieces of glass stuck in it.
Roman Burki spoke to Swiss outlet Blick about what happened to Bartra, as he was the one seated next to Marc on the bus.
"The bus turned into the main street when there was a giant bang, an explosion. I sat in the last row next to Marc Bartra, who was hit by the shattered glass of the rear window.”
"We all ducked after the bang, and those who were able took cover lying on the floor. We did not know if had already ended. The police were on site soon. We are all shocked, and nobody thought about a football match during those minutes."
Thankfully no one was seriously injured.
Bartra’s status for the game tomorrow is still uncertain, but it seems unlikely that he will be available. A wrist injury shouldn’t keep him out too long, but it may be too soon for him to play, having only had the surgery yesterday.
Football is still secondary on everyone’s minds, but Bartra will be a big miss for Dortmund’s defense in a crucial game.
Reminder: The game will kick off later today at 12:45 EST/6:45 CET.