Sevilla defender Javi Navarro has apologised for the tackle that hospitalised Real Mallorca’s Venezuelan international Juan Fernando Arango on Sunday.
“I was simply trying to protect myself in a head on collision. If the same situation happened again I would react in exactly the same way because there was no intention in the challenge,” Navarro told a news conference on Monday.
“I am really sorry for what happened. There are lots of tackles like these all the time in football but this one was particularly unlucky with my opponent getting such a blow in the face.”
Arango and Navarro collided but Navarro’s raised elbow connected with Arango’s face, knocking him unconscious.
Medical teams were quickly on the scene as the 24-year-old midfielder started having spasms, and he was rushed to hospital in Las Palmas.
Doctors said later that Arango was in a stable condition but had not suffered any serious brain damage. The player has a broken right cheek bone.
Navarro revealed he went to the hospital to check on Arango after the game.
“It was important to win, but it’s better not to talk about that when something like this happens to a colleague,” the Sevilla player stated.
“I’ve been through situations like this before and I don’t like them at all. It’s awful and very worrying.”