Arsenal defender Mari admits ‘I was lucky’ as ex-Napoli star Tarantino helped take down attacker

Arsenal defender Pablo Mari has said he was “lucky” as he prepares to undergo back surgery after being stabbed in a supermarket near Milan.

Local media reported that a 30-year-old cashier died and at least five others were injured after a man started attacking people in Assago.

A 46-year-old suspect was detained by police at the scene.

“Today I was lucky, because I saw a person die in front of me,” Mari, on loan at Monza, told Italian media.

La Gazzetta dello Sport says Spanish defender Mari, 29, had been walking around the supermarket with his wife and son when he was stabbed in the back.

Il Corriere della Sera reported that former Napoli player Massimo Tarantino was among those who immobilised and disarmed the attacker before police arrived.

“I’m not a hero. I didn’t do anything special,” 51-year-old Tarantino is quoted by the paper as saying.

Mari’s injuries are not life-threatening with his agent Arturo Canales telling the BBC on Thursday that the player was conscious and no vital organs had been affected.

Mari will undergo surgery on damaged muscles on Friday.

“Pablo is an amazing guy,” said Monza president Adriano Galliani, who visited Mari along with the Serie A side’s head coach Raffaele Palladino, told Gazzetta.

“He had the strength to joke and tell me that he will be back in training on Monday. I brought him greetings from [club president Silvio] Berlusconi and everyone else.

“His team-mates wanted to come here but obviously it was not possible.”

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