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‘Line crossed in attack on Benfica bus,’ says German star Weigl

Madrid (AFP) – Benfica midfielder Julian Weigl has said a “line was crossed” when an attack on the team’s bus on Thursday night resulted in him and Serbian forward Andrija Zivkovic going to hospital.

Weigl confirmed on social media that he is now “ok”, alongside a picture of him and Zivkovic giving a thumbs up. Zivkovic appears to have a patch strapped across his right eye. 

The two players were hit by shrapnel as the bus was stoned while returning to Benfica’s training ground following their goalless draw at home to Tondela.

Weigl was also on the Borussia Dortmund team bus that was bombed in 2017 as it carried the squad to a Champions League match at home to Monaco.

“Hey everyone, I just want to let you know that I’m ok,” wrote Weigl on Friday. 

“We were really lucky! We are all doing mistakes but there was a line crossed! Throwing rocks on a bus wihout caring is someone gets hurt? I know that’s not how the real Benfica fans are! 

“Especially these past weeks and days should have shown us that it’s always the better solution to stand together instead of literally throwing rocks at each other! Thank you for your kind messages! I appreciate everyone reaching out”.

A video posted by the Record newspaper in Portugal showed a bus with broken glass on the floor and damage to the outside.

The team were travelling along a motorway in Lisbon after Benfica’s 0-0 draw meant they missed the chance to move ahead of Porto on points at the top of the Primeira Liga.

It was Benfica’s first game back since the three-month break due to coronavirus.

A club statement read: “Benfica condemns and regrets the criminal stoning that the players’ bus suffered while heading to the Seixal training ground after the game against Tondela on Thursday night at Estadio da Luz.

“We inform that, as a matter of precaution, players Julian Weigl and Zivkovic were immediately taken to Hospital da Luz to be observed, following the shrapnel that hit them.

“Benfica guarantees its full collaboration with the authorities, on whom it calls for the greatest effort to be made in order to identify the offenders responsible for these criminal acts.”

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