When Laurent Koscielny was stretchered off in the 11th minute of our Europa League semi-final in Madrid, it was an understandably emotional moment for the French defender.
Knowing that his World Cup was all but over, our club captain was distraught, but medical director Dr Gary O'Driscoll tells the story of how he was comforted by our players at half-time - and one of the stars of the Atletico team.
"There were three or four of us in the dressing room and Laurent was lying on the bed, close to tears," he told Arsenal Player. "It was an extremely emotional moment.
"The half-time whistle went and suddenly all the players came in. The level of endearment, respect and love for Laurent was apparent straight away. All the players came over, there were lots of hugs and then the team went off for the team talk.
"I stayed with Laurent and then there was a very emotional moment when one of the players from the opposition came in, it was Antoine Griezmann. He walked in, went over, put his arm around him and the two of them had a fond embrace and a cuddle - and it was a prolonged one.
"Griezmann didn’t say to me, ‘How bad is this?’ They looked at each other and they almost knew what the implications were. I think that made a big impression on Laurent.
"I think he knew that not only was he cared for and loved in the dressing room, but also that people outside were all thinking of him and were all caring about what was going to happen next, while also being aware that this is probably the end of his World Cup."
Copyright 2024 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.