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'Is this the final?': Referee reveals that Germany's Kramer was disoriented after blow to head

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Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer collides with Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain during the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)The Associated Press

The World Cup final referee says Germany midfielder Christoph Kramer was disoriented and confused after taking a heavy blow to the head early in Sunday's match.

Nicola Rizzoli told the Gazzetta dello Sport, "Shortly after the blow, Kramer came to me asking 'Ref, is this the final?' 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 says he told Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger about the exchange but Kramer continued playing for 14 minutes following a collision with Argentina's Ezequiel Garay.

He was eventually replaced in the 31st minute after slumping to the ground with a suspected concussion.