Borussia Dortmund defender Marc Bartra required surgery after his side’s team bus was damaged by three explosions which caused the postponement of the club’s Champions League clash with Monaco.
The motivations behind the incident and question as to whether there is any terror connection remain unanswered, although police confirmed in a press conference that the Dortmund team coach was the intended target of the attack.
It was also divulged that a letter, which had not yet been authenticated, was discovered near the scene which claimed responsibility for the episode. At least one other suspect device was found near L’Arrivee Hotel and Spa, the Dortmund team base.
The attack took place shortly after 7pm local time on Wittbraucker Strasse, around six miles from Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion, as the vehicle was transporting players to the scheduled match.
Police have not confirmed how the explosions were detonated.
Spain centre-half Bartra, meanwhile, a 26-year-old graduate of Barcelona’s La Masia academy, was taken to hospital to undergo an operation on a fractured radial bone in his right wrist.
Dortmund’s quarter-final first-leg tussle was postponed and European governing body Uefa announced shortly afterwards that it will now be played this evening at 5.45pm under heightened security.
The Bundesliga club’s chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke said: “There has been an attack with explosives on the team bus. The whole team is in a state of shock, you can’t get pictures like that out of your head.
“I hope the team will be in a position to be able to compete tomorrow on the pitch. In a crisis situation like this, Borussia pulls together.”
A Police statement read: “According to first findings, the police assumes this was an attack with serious explosives.”
In the Champions League action which did take place last night, Serie A leaders Juventus hammered Barcelona 3-0 as Argentine striker Paulo Dybala netted twice. Veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini notched the Old Lady’s third as a dominant Juventus seized control of the quarter-final tie.
While not as severe as their 4-0 deficit after leg one of their last-16 tie, it is the second round in succession that Barcelona have had sizeable arrears to overturn in a return game at Camp Nou if they are to progress.