An update emerges with one dead and Arsenal player Pablo Mari among several injured in a stabbing incident at a supermarket in Milan.
Mari, who is currently out on a season-long loan with Serie A outfit Monza, will undergo surgery on his back on Friday and is believed to be conscious and not in a serious condition.
He was among six people attacked at a shopping centre in the Italian city with the 29-year-old now recovering in the Niguarda hospital, with local reports claiming one of six victims – said to be an employee of the supermarket – has died.
— Venkatesh Ragupathi (@venkatesh_Ragu) October 28, 2022
Quoted in Gazzetta dello Sport, Mari said: “Today I was lucky, because I saw a person die in front of me.”
The Italian publication said that Mari had been walking with his wife and son – who was in a trolley – in the Carrefour supermarket in the Milanofiori di Assago mall on the outskirts of Milan, when he felt a pain in his back before seeing the attacker, later identified as a 46-year-old man and arrested by police, stab another person in the throat. Sky Italy report that investigators have ruled out terrorism.
After spending the night in hospital, to which he was taken to by helicopter according to reports, Mari will undergo surgery on damaged muscles on Friday with Adriano Galliani, CEO of Monza, telling reporters Mari is recovering and wants to be back in training on Monday.
Pablo Mari will spend the night in hospital and undergo surgery on Friday to reduce muscle damage to his back. pic.twitter.com/SPK9SUBnBR
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 27, 2022
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said Mari “seems to be OK”.
“I know [club technical director] Edu has been in touch with his relatives,” he said after Thursday’s 2-0 defeat at PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League.
“He is in hospital. He seems to be ok. I will get a briefing now about what happened.”
Arsenal issued a club statement on Thursday night: “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 centre-back Pablo Mari.
“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.”
Our thoughts are with Pablo Mari and the other victims of today’s dreadful incident in Italy.
We have been in contact with Pablo’s agent who has told us he’s in hospital and is not seriously hurt.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 27, 2022
Monza chief executive Adriano Galliani has told Sky Italy Mari was stabbed in the back and has a “fairly deep wound”, but his injuries are not life-threatening.
Galliani said: “Pablo Mari had a fairly deep wound on his back, which fortunately did not touch vital organs such as the lungs or others.
“His life is not in danger, he should recover quickly.”
Galliani later also told Sky Italy that Mari, who is 6ft 4ins, was “saved” due to his height.
“He told me about this incredible incident,” said Galliani. “He had his son in a trolley and his wife next to him. He didn’t notice anything. He then felt something painful in his back, which was the criminal’s knife.
“Unfortunately, he also saw the criminal stab someone in the throat. He saw everything that happened and it was deeply disturbing.”
On Twitter, Galliani wrote: “Dear Pablo, we are all here close to you and your family, we love you, keep fighting as you know how to do, you are a warrior and you will get well soon.”
Adriano Galliani, CEO of Monza, has given further details of the attack on on-loan Arsenal defender Pablo Mari and told reporters Mari is recovering and wants to be back in training on Monday. pic.twitter.com/nfNTuySKm2
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 28, 2022
A 46-year-old man has already been arrested by local police.
On the horrific stabbing incident, one eyewitness said: “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 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 realised that something serious had happened.”
Mari posted the following tweet on Friday: “After the hard time we experienced yesterday, both my family and I want to communicate that fortunately we are all fine despite the circumstances, and to thank all the messages of support and affection that we are receiving.
“In addition, we want to send our condolences and all our strength to the family and friends of the deceased person, and we sincerely wish that all injured people recover as soon as possible.”
Mari has so far made eight Serie A appearances for Monza this season, scoring one goal.
He signed for Arsenal from Flamengo in 2020, making just 12 Premier League appearances before being sent out on loan.
Mari has since had spells with Udinese and Monza this year alone, making a combined 23 Serie A appearances, scoring three times.
Monza have an option to buy Mari permanently at the conclusion of his loan deal.
“I just found out, hopefully he is ok!” 🤞
— Hayters TV (@HaytersTV) October 27, 2022
Twitter users gave their thoughts as an update emerges with one dead and Arsenal player Pablo Mari among several injured in stabbing…
@SimonWells1991: Wish everyone a speedy recovery ❤️
@yenyoc: Sounds like Pablo Mari was very lucky. Stabbed in the back before he was even aware of the attacker. Hope the others injured make a quick recovery too
@StewartBailey3: Even if they are our rivals, speedy recovery to Pablo Mari. Terrible incident, hope the guy [attacker] gets life
@lukey_stanger: Best wishes to Pablo Mari and for his speedy recovery from the other side of North London. Some things are bigger than football. ❤️🙏
@lucypritty1: My thoughts and prayers go out to Pablo Mari and the 5 other victims of a horrible stabbing tonight in Italy.. nobody ever deserves to be a victim of any violence what so ever.. let’s hope everyone apart from one man that has sadly died makes a full recovery ❤️
@KeithTheGooner: This is awful news. I hope he and the other victims all make a speedy recovery and get support for dealing with the trauma they’ve been through
@AST_arsenal: Hope Pablo Mari is okay and the recovery goes well. We hope to see him out playing football again soon. Our thoughts are with the person who passed away, and their family. ❤️
@Nemz45: What a terrible situation man… Just get well soon Pablo and all others 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
@ldrichier: Awful awful news. Thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected. Hope Pablo Mari and the other victims make speedy recovery’s 😔❤️
@RosaCatherineK: Must have been so scary for everyone involved. I’m glad he’s doing okay, hopefully all those involved make a full recovery. RIP to the person who died. 💙❤️
@sheila_gooner: So glad that Pablo is not seriously injured. What an horrendous thing to have happened. I hope all the other people that were injured are also all OK 🙏
@JamieCFC98: Absolutely horrifying. I wish Mari a full and quick recovery from such a horrible act.
@Coleman86: Thinking of @PabloMV5 stay strong!
@Gooner_70ns: Absolutely devastating – sick people in this world. Thoughts are with Pablo and all the victims in this distressing incident 🙏❤️ #PABLO
@CharlieMac1990: @PabloMV5 get well soon mate. Sending love ❤️🔴⚪️ speedy recovery x
@harryxafc: Terrible news. Get well soon @PabloMV5 and thoughts with all the victims 🙏🏼