Borussia Dortmund might have good reason to blame their Champions League exit on the bomb attack that struck their team bus prior to the first leg against AS Monaco, but given recent reports, they might wish to consider themselves lucky.
According to German police who reconstructed the incident, it’s possible that things could have gone very differently.
“If the explosions had detonated one second earlier, the entire bus would have been hit with a massive shock,” an official from the German Federal Criminal Investigation Office told German publication Bild on Sunday. “There would surely have been many serious injuries and possibly some deaths.”
Thankfully, the only casualty was the broken wrist suffered by defender Marc Bartra, who is out four weeks after having surgery to repair the injury.
The bombs were found to be full of nails, with one imbedded in one of the bus’s seat headrests. They were reportedly built to a professional level, with materials and layout hinting towards a knowledge of German military construction and schematics.
Letters have been sent claiming to be from Islamic extremist groups that claim responsibility for the attack, but the German police have openly questioned the authenticity of those letters. The investigations have so far failed to publicly identify a lead on who may have been responsible for the bombing.
Before their second leg match in France, Monaco presented Dortmund with a plaque in a show of solidarity. The plaque depicted numerous photos of fans from both sides celebrating together, as Monaco showed its appreciation for the hospitality Dortmund fans showed them on the night of the attacks.
Social media was used to help Monaco fans stranded in Germany by the postponement of the first leg, and many Dortmund fans gave their rivals a place to stay for the night.