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Arsenal’s Pablo Mari stabbed in supermarket attack, to undergo surgery

The Arsenal defender Pablo Marí, who is on loan at Monza, is in hospital after being stabbed in a Milan supermarket. One person was killed and five injured, including Marí, in the attack.

A 46-year-old Italian man was arrested after the incident in the Milano Fiori shopping centre in the Assago area of the northern Italian city yesterday evening. Police said the suspect suffered from mental health problems and have so far ruled out terrorism.

Two people are reported to be in a serious condition; Marí is not among them, although he was taken to a hospital in Milan. He will undergo surgery on his back today after damaging muscles.

Quoted in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Mari said: “Today I was lucky, because I saw a person die in front of me.”

Gazzetta said that Marí had been walking with his wife and son – who was in a trolley – in shop when he felt a pain in his back before seeing the attacker stab another person in the throat.

Monza’s president, Adriano Galliani, who visited Marí with the Serie A side’s head coach, Raffaele Palladino, told Gazzetta: “Pablo is an amazing guy. He had the strength to joke and tell me that he will be back in training on Monday. I brought him greetings from [club president Silvio] Berlusconi and everyone else. His teammates wanted to come here but obviously it was not possible.”

Corriere della Sera says the former Napoli and Internazionale player Massimo Tarantino was among those who immobilised and disarmed the attacker, with the 51-year-old quoted by the paper as saying: “I’m not a hero. I didn’t do anything special.”

Speaking after Arsenal’s 2-0 Europa League defeat at PSV Eindhoven, Mikel Arteta said the club had been in contact with Marí’s family.

“I know Edu has been in touch with his relatives,” the manager said of the club’s technical director. “He’s in hospital but seems to be OK. We’re having a briefing now, we’ll be in touch and hopefully he will be OK.”

An Arsenal statement subsequently read: “We have been in contact with Pablo’s agent who has told us he’s in hospital and is not seriously hurt. Our thoughts are with Pablo and the other victims of this dreadful incident.”

About two hours after the incident Galliani confirmed Marí would make a full recovery. “Pablo Marí is not in danger as his injuries are not life-threatening. We hope to see him back soon,” he said.

The attacker allegedly grabbed a knife from a display stand in the Carrefour supermarket before randomly stabbing people, including a 30-year-old male employee of the chain, the Italian news agency, Ansa reported. He reportedly died while being taken to hospital.

The people who were caught up in the attack are aged between 28 and 81.

One witness told Ansa: “Now that we are far away, we are calmer. But we were really terrified. We did not understand what was happening, we saw people running away in tears.”

Another described the attack like “a scene from an American film”. “We were at the bar and thought it was a robbery because we saw some men and a woman running,” the witness said. “Then we saw more people with distraught faces and we realised that something serious had happened.”

Marí is on a season-long loan at Monza, who are 15th in Serie A. He has played eight games this season, scoring one goal. The Spaniard joined Arsenal from Flamengo in 2020 after an initial loan spell and has made 22 appearances for the Premier League club.

The Guardian

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