ROME – 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.