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April 13, 2017
Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has said he “feels like an animal” after his team lost 3-2 to AS Monaco in Wednesday’s rearranged UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg.
The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday before three bomb explosions around the German team’s bus delayed the match by 24 hours. However, Sokratis voiced his displeasure at the limited turnaround when speaking to ESPN FC after Wednesday’s loss:
It is very difficult today to think to go and play football. For everybody, it is very difficult to go to work after yesterday. I hope that what happened to us, never happens to anyone else. I hope that was the last time.
We will speak with our president and with our coach. But we don’t have any solutions. I feel like what I said before: I feel like an animal and not like a person. Who doesn’t live this can’t understand how big it was for us.
The Greece international was clearly frustrated after being forced to perform just one day after the traumatic event, particularly after team-mate Marc Bartra was hurt in the incident, per BBC Sport.
Sokratis also made sure to mention European football’s governing body, UEFA, in his criticism as he suggested the Black and Yellows needed more time to mentally prepare for the clash following Tuesday’s events:
I am happy first that I am alive. It was the most difficult day that I have lived in my life and I hope that nobody else has to live this day. After yesterday I don’t have any more space to think about the game.
They [UEFA] have to understand that we are not animals. We are people who have families, who have kids in the house. And we are not animals. I am happy that all the players are alive, and all the staff are alive.
Two goals from Kylian Mbappe helped sink the Black and Yellows at Signal Iduna Park along with Sven Bender’s own goal, meaning Ousmane Dembele and Shinji Kagawa’s second-half goals couldn’t pull them level.
Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel joined Sokratis in airing his concerns with what he perceived as a lack of compassion on the organisers’ part when speaking to Jan Aage Fjortoft of Scandinavian broadcaster Viasat:
Viasat Fotball @ViasatFotball
TUCHEL: – It was a terrible experience for all of us. We wanted a bit more time to deal with it.
4/12/2017, 8:06:02 PM
Tuchel asserted his squad were “attacked on the bus as human beings,” and it’s true no professional player may be mentally equipped to deal with such an instance, never mind doing so in the space of just 24 hours.
The objections of Dortmund’s player and manager may be just the beginning of the fallout we see emerging from the decision to stage the game just a day after one team saw their lives threatened. Dortmund nevertheless have a steep hill to climb when they travel to the Stade Louis II trailing 3-2 next Wednesday.
This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.