BERLIN, Germany, May 11 – Marc Bartra says he has a renewed passion for football as he prepares to play again after fracturing his wrist in a bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus.
The centre-back returned to training on Wednesday — 29 days after surgery on his right wrist having been hit by flying glass when three bombs blasted the Dortmund team bus last month on the way to a Champions League home match.
Bartra, 26, and a police officer were the only two people hurt by the attack, for which a 28-year-old German-Russian has been charged.
“When I see a ball, I forget everything around me,” said the Spaniard who hopes to make his return before Dortmund play Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Cup final on May 27 in Berlin.
“I have so much desire to run, train, defend and be with my team-mates like never before.”
The Champions League match against Monaco at Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion was delayed 24 hours due to the attack before the hosts lost 3-2, eventually going down 6-3 on aggregate against the French league leaders.
Like the rest of the Dortmund team, Bartra was left shell-shocked after the April 11 bomb attack.
The ex-Barcelona defender, who spent nearly 14 years with the Spanish giants before joining Dortmund for this season, says it was the worst day of his life and is still dealing with the memories.
“The pain, the panic, the uncertainty, it was the worst in my whole life,” he said.
“It is a situation the like of which I had never experienced before and you don’t know how to behave, whether you’re more frightened or not.”
But Bartra says he refuses to allow the attack to put him off football: “I look forward to it now more than ever.”
He wears a protective cast on his arm and has a five centimetres-long scar.
“The arm is doing well,” he added.
“The doctor told me that the bone was broken by the explosion and the splinters, but the tendons and ligaments were fortunately not affected.”
The Spaniard says good wishes from around the world buoyed his spirits in the aftermath and he hopes to return to playing in the coming weeks.
“Hopefully, I can get in the squad for this week or next and help the team,” he said.
“After all the titles I won with Barcelona, I can get a trophy in my first season with Dortmund,” he added with one eye on the German Cup final.