Arsenal defender Pablo Mari had to be rushed to hospital after being stabbed in a Milan supermarket, in a horrific stabbing attack that left one dead and five injured on Thursday. Mari is on loan at Manza. Mari's wife described how she saw "one person die in front of me".
In a statement, Arsenal confirmed the incident but said Mari's injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. The attacker, who is believed to have mental issues and has since been arrested. The man who was fatally stabbed has been identified as a 20-year-old checkout assistant at the supermarket. Two people are reported to be in a serious condition.
Around 6.30 p.m. on Thursday, a 46-year-old man who is thought to have mental health concerns pulled a knife from the shelves of a Carrefour grocery store in the Milanofiori di Assago, south of Milan, and started stabbing people.
Members of the public rushed the attacker before the Carabinieri, one of Italy's law enforcement agencies, took control of the situation. Mari was one of the victims.
He was punched in the face and stabbed in the back, Monza chief Adriano Galliani said. The footballer is reportedly conscious but is suffering from knife wounds from a slashing motion.
At this time, while officials are still looking into the incident that resulted in multiple people being hospitalized, investigators have ruled out terrorism as a potential motive.
According to Galliani, Mari suffered a "pretty severe incision" to his back, but his 6ft 4in height "saved" him by preventing the knife from striking any important organs. Wife Veronica and son Pablo, age 4, saw the incident but are not believed to have been hurt.
Mari is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Milan, where he will likely undergo surgery to reduce muscular damage to his back, even though his condition is not thought to be life-threatening.
In an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Cope on Thursday night, Mari's father, Pablo, said that he first learned of the incident at 8 pm and that his son had previously assured them that he was "fine" and that he "loved them very much."
"I didn't know anything. I wasn't watching TV or anything and family members started calling over and over... and my heart nearly failed," he added.
Could Have Been Deadlier
Arsenal also confirmed the incident and said that they are in touch with Mari. "We are all shocked to hear the dreadful news about the stabbing in Italy, which has put a number of people in hospital including our on-loan center-back Pablo Mari," the statement 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."
According to Riformista, Mari was strolling through the shop with his wife Veronica and their young son. One of six victims attacked close to Mari. According to reports, the incident left four males, aged 28, 30, 40, and 80, in a serious condition, while a cashier was taken to a hospital in Rozzano.
One of the victims, who was said to be 30 years old, died later. Mari was taken to Niguarda Hospital and is conscious, while two older people are reportedly in not in such serious condition.
A witness told La Repubblica: 'We were at the bar and we thought it was a robbery because we saw some boys and a lady running, then we saw more and more people with upset faces and we realized that something serious had happened.'
Football Italia have reported that Monza coach Raffaele Palladino and club CEO Adriano Galliani are travelling to be by his side immediately while Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar have also been in contact.
According to Football Italia, Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar have also been in touch, and Monza coach Raffaele Palladino and club CEO Adriano Galliani are traveling to be by Mari's side right away.
Mari made 22 appearances for the Gunners before signing a loan deal with the Serie A team in August for the 2022–23 season. In January 2020, the Spaniard temporarily transferred from Flamengo of Brazil to Arsenal before making the switch permanently the following summer. Mari made 15 appearances while on loan at Udinese in Italy for the second part of previous season.