Antonio Rudiger, a defender for Chelsea, has refuted allegations that he bit Paul Pogba during Germany’s opening game of Euro 2020, a 0-1 loss to France. Nonetheless, the Chelsea defender admitted that the incident looked “unfortunate” in the photos that have since gone viral online.
France, the reigning World Cup champions, opened their European Championship campaign with a 1-0 victory over Germany. In the end, an own goal by Mats Hummels separated the two teams.
Was Paul Pogba Bitten in Germany vs. France
Goals disallowed for offside, opportunities wasted, and the Rudiger incident marked the contest. The Chelsea defender may consider himself fortunate because Carlos del Cerro Grande, the match official, did not show any form of punishment for the altercation he had with Pogba.
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At the end of the first half, Rudiger was seen on camera hugging Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and resting his face on his shoulder. Pogba then looked to voice his displeasure to referee Del Cerro Grande, but Rudiger was not cautioned.
The German centre defender said after the game that he didn’t mean to hurt Pogba, despite how it looked on TV. There’s no question in my mind that I shouldn’t put my mouth that close to his back. The 28-year-old player told reporters after the game that it appeared to be a bad play. After the game was over, Paul and I had a friendly conversation about it.
And in our brief discussion and in his interviews with the media, he emphasised that there was in fact no bite to the story, contrary to what some viewers may have initially believed. The referee assured me that he would have punished me if he had considered my actions to be violent at any point during the game.
According to Pogba
The Manchester United midfielder said in a postgame interview that he never wanted Rudiger to be sent off for that and that the incident was more of a “nibble.”
To which I replied, “We’re buddies,” to which he replied. Nothing major happened here. To be clear, I am not advocating for warnings or suspensions of any kind for such behaviour. I believe he took a few nibbles out of me.
“I sensed it, I informed the referee, and he made the call. I don’t think he should have gotten a card, so I’m glad he didn’t get one. In no way do I want this to lead to his suspension.
Pogba was pivotal in France’s victory on the field. His ability to extend plays with his passing and hold up play was remarkable. The Manchester United midfielder’s passing and crossing were excellent across the board.
In the centre of the field, he and N’Golo Kante played wonderfully off of each other. Both teams were excellent at maintaining a steady pace and limiting Germany’s opportunities. As France protected their 1-0 lead, Kante was swift to shut down German assaults.
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The loss will be devastating for Germany as they begin to prepare for Saturday’s pivotal showdown against the defending champions, Portugal.
For them to advance to the round of 16, they absolutely must win today. Winners of the 2018 World Cup France will take against Hungary the same day.