Updates from Thursday, July 17
World Cup final referee Nicola Rizzoli has revealed his conversation with Christoph Kramer prior to the German's exit from Sunday's match vs. Argentina, per Goal.com:
He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: 'Shortly after the blow suffered by Garay, Kramer came to me and asked: 'Ref, is this the final?'
'I thought he was joking, he repeated the question and said: 'I need to know if this is really the final.'
'At my 'yes', amazed, he concluded: 'Thanks, it was important to know'. I advised Bastian Schweinsteiger and they replaced Kramer.'
Updates from Monday, July 14
Christoph Kramer spoke about his head injury during yesterday's match against Argentina (via Tom Sheen and Lizzie Dearden of The Independent):
"I can’t really remember much of the game," he told German newspaper Die Welt after seeing his team-mates beat Argentina 1-0.
"I don’t know anything at all about the first half. I thought later that I left the game immediately after the tackle. I have no idea how I got to the changing rooms. I don’t know anything else. In my head, the game starts from the second half."
Christoph Kramer's first-ever competitive start for the German national team was cut short during Sunday's 2014 World Cup final against Argentina, as the young midfielder left the pitch with concussion-like symptoms during the first half.
ESPN FC shared the news:
Kramer, the man who replaced Khedira, is now taken off after a blow to the head earlier in the match. Schurrle coming on. Still 0-0.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 13, 2014
Kramer was in the starting XI in place of Sami Khedira, who picked up a calf injury during the warm-up. But the 23-year-old took a heavy blow to the head early in the match, and when he returned to the pitch after a few minutes, it was clear he was unable to continue.
Jim Roberts of Mashable shared the stillshot of the impact:
Here's a Vine of the collision, via Tiempo de Futbol:
FIFPro's Andrew Orsatti was disappointed the midfielder was allowed to return to the pitch in the first place:
Kramer goes off, dazed and confused. That he was allowed to continue initially is yet another example of football living in the dark ages.— Andrew Orsatti (@AndrewOrsatti) July 13, 2014
Kramer was dazed and confused, and he needed the support from two staff members to make his way to the dressing room when he was finally replaced by Andre Schurrle.
Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl pointed out this wasn't the first time a team's medical staff displayed poor judgment when dealing with a possible concussion during the tournament:
3 horrible mishandlings of head injuries in this tournament. Kramer only the latest.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 13, 2014
Bob Ley of ESPN shared his thoughts:
FIFA's lack of concussion protocols is scandalous.— Bob Ley (@BobLeyESPN) July 13, 2014
Kramer briefly spoke about the injury after Germany's win, via Gerald Imray of The Associated Press.
"I can't remember very much but it doesn't matter now," he said. "I have to send regards to my grandmother. She has a birthday today and I couldn't reach her."
Schurrle has been excellent for Germany as a substitute during the World Cup so far, but his introduction moved Mesut Ozil inside for Die Mannschaft, and the Arsenal man is more of an attacking option than either Khedira or Kramer.
As for Kramer's health, we can only hope the youngster is OK. Balls.ie shared this image of the player as he left the pitch, and he didn't look well:
The long-lasting effects of head trauma can be very dangerous, so fans have to hope this collision does not affect the rest of Kramer's promising career.