Five wounded, including Arsenal’s Pablo Mari, in deadly knife attack in Italy


A knife attack that killed a man near Milan on Thursday also resulted in the wounding of four others, including an Arsenal soccer player on loan to an Italian team.

Pablo Mari, who has been playing this season for the Serie A side Monza, was described by Arsenal as “not seriously hurt,” with the English Premier League club adding that the information came from his agent. Mari, a 29-year-old central defender, reportedly was recuperating at a hospital while awaiting surgery Friday.

Police, per multiple reports, said a male employee at the supermarket where the attack occurred was killed. A 46-year-old man suspected of involvement in the attack, at a Carrefour grocery store in Assago, was reportedly arrested. Apart from Mari, three other people were reportedly taken to a hospital in serious condition. Another person was treated at the scene but not hospitalized.

The attack did not initially appear to be linked to terrorism, said police, who indicated it might be related to psychological instability.

“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,” Arsenal said in a statement. “… Our thoughts are with Pablo and the other victims of this dreadful incident.”

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Monza’s chief executive, Adriano Galliani, told Sky Sports that Mari was pushing his son in a shopping cart when the Spanish player was attacked.

“He told me about this incredible incident,” Galliani said of Mari. “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.”

Galliani added that while Mari has a “fairly deep wound on his back,” which will require surgery, the stabbing “fortunately did not touch vital organs such as the lungs.” The Mari’s height, at 6-foot-4, may have “saved” him, Galliani said.

Arsenal signed Mari from the Brazilian club Flamengo in 2020. He spent part of last season on loan to another Serie A side, Udinese.

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