MARC Bartra has opened up for the first time about the April 11 bomb attack which blasted the Borussia Dortmund team bus and left the defender with a fractured wrist.
“There was a loud bang and I felt a warm wave of pressure, then a great pain in my arm,” he told Sport Bild magazine after being hit by shrapnel in last month’s attack.
“My ears were ringing, I couldn’t see anything — I could only actually hear the ringing in my ears and the dull cries of Roman, Nuri and ‘Schmelle’ (team-mates Roman Burki, Nuri Sahin and Marcel Schmelzer).
“They were calling ‘Marc, on the floor, lie down!’
“At first I was paralysed. I couldn’t move. Blood was dripping from my arm.”
The 26-year-old defender and a policeman, who was stunned by the blast, were the casualties when three bombs rocked the Dortmund bus on the way to a Champions League home quarter-final last month.
The first-leg tie was postponed and replayed less than 24 hours after the blasts as the stunned Dortmund team lost 3-2 with Bartra recovering in hospital after surgery on a fractured wrist.
But memories of the attack are still fresh.
“There was the smell of gun powder,” Bartra, who spent four days in hospital after the attack, told Sky in a separate interview.
“I was petrified, I was only thinking of my daughter. I wanted to survive.
“The pain in my arm was terrible. I felt like I was drifting away.
“Then our physio Swantje was there, he kept slapping me and shouting at me to stay awake.
“She sprayed water in my face. It all took ten minutes, but it felt like hours.
“The biggest fear was that we didn’t know if we were safe and it there would be other attacks.
“This uncertainty was the worst.”
Bartra admits wondering if his career was over, but was back playing a month later and was in the Dortmund team which won Saturday’s German Cup final by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 in Berlin.
“When the attack happened, I thought I would never be able to play again,” Bartra told magazine Kicker.
“When the doctor told me after the surgery that I was going to be able to play again in a month, that was indescribable and the most beautiful news.”
Ten days after the attack, a German-Russian, identified only as 28-year-old Sergej W., was arrested and charged with a string of offences including attempted murder.
Prosecutors have said he staged the attack hoping to profit from a drop in the football team’s share price.