World Cup final referee Nicola Rizzoli told the Gazzetta dello Sportthat German midfielder Christoph Kramer was uncertain whether he was playing in the World Cup final after sustaining a head injury.
Kramer suffered a blow to the head in the 14th minute of the final against Argentina, but he continued playing before he collapsed in the 31st minute. Rizzoli, an Italian referee, said that Kramer was disoriented and confused after suffering the initial blow.
From the Associated Press:
"Shortly after the blow, Kramer came to me asking 'Ref, is this the final?'" Nicola Rizzoli told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday. "I thought he was joking and made him repeat the question and then he said, 'I need to know if this is really the final.' When I said, 'Yes,' he concluded, 'Thanks, it was important to know that.'"
Rizzoli said he informed German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger about Kramer's condition after he suffered the injury.
Kramer said after the match he didn't remember almost anything before the second half.
That Kramer stayed in the game brought renewed criticism towards FIFA's concussion policy. A similar incident occurred in the World Cup involving Uruguay's Alvaro Pereira.
Germany went on to defeat Argentina 1-0 to win the World Cup. The winning goal was assisted by André Schürrle, who replaced Kramer.
- Ben Estes