Dortmund defender Sokratis: 'I feel like an animal and not like a person'
An emotional Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos says he feels treated like an animal by UEFA after his team lost their rearranged Champions League clash with Monaco.
The Bundesliga outfit took to the field less than 24 hours after the original tie was postponed when three explosions went off near their team bus as they made their way to Signal Iduna Park, leaving defender Marc Bartra needing surgery on an arm injury.
But Sokratis admitted football was far from his mind.
"I am happy first that I am alive," Sokratis told ESPN FC in the mixed zone. "It was the most difficult day that I have lived in my life and I hope that nobody else has to live this day. After yesterday I don't have any more space to think about the game.
"They [UEFA] have to understand that we are not animals. We are people who have families, who have kids in the house. And we are not animals. I am happy that all the players are alive, and all the staff are alive.
"It is very difficult today to think to go and play football. For everybody, it is very difficult to go to work after yesterday. I hope that what happened to us, never happens to anyone else. I hope that was the last time."
"We will speak with our president and with our coach. But we don't have any solutions. I feel like what I said before: I feel like an animal and not like a person. Who doesn't live this can't understand how big it was for us."
Dortmund defender Matthias Ginter added: "This is the best I have felt since the last 24 hours. We're glad that we're alive and can go home. We spoke to the people in charge if there was anything that could have been changed about that, because none of us wanted to play today, which I think everyone can understand.
"You try to do everything the same way as we usually do. But obviously nobody could think about football. We all felt at the start of the match that this wasn't a normal game for us."
And teammate Marcel Schmelzer concurred, saying: "It was determined that we had to play today. We would have wished very, very much that they could have found another date for the match. Although we realise how big this competition is, one mustn't forget that we are still humans. What happened yesterday is not normal and must not be treated as such. You mustn't just proceed with your everyday life."
In a moving interview on Scandanavian TV, former Liverpool loanee Nuri Sahin said: "It is hard to talk about it and hard to find the right words. We saw a lot of times on TV and it was far away from us, even when it was in Istanbul which is in my country.
"Last evening we felt how it is to be in this situation. I don't wish a feeling like this on anyone. I don't know if people can understand this but until I was on the pitch in the second half I did not think about football to be honest.
"Last night I didn't realise what happened and when I got home my wife and son were waiting in front of the door I felt how lucky we were. I know football is very important, we love football, we suffer with football and I know we earn a lot of money and have a privileged life but we are human beings, there is so much more than football in this world, last night we felt it.
"When I was on the bus last night, I can't forget the faces, I will never forget those faces. I sit next to [Marcel] Schmelzer and I will never forget his face. It was unbelievable.''
Information from Dortmund correspondent Stefan Buczko and the Press Association was used in this report.