17 minutes into the World Cup Final against Argentina on Sunday, Germany’s Christoph Kramer took a nasty blow to the head when he collided with Argentina’s Ezequiel Garay, leaving him laying on the field looking dazed and confused. Looking at the replays and Kramer’s own physical display, there was no doubt that he should have been taken off the field right away, but to the surprise of many watching the game, in a few minutes the midfielder was back at it.
It turns out Kramer himself was surprised that he got back in the game considering he has no recollection of it. In an interview with Die Welt, Kramer told the German paper, “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.”
Kramer continued playing against Argentina for an additional 15 minutes before being helped off the field by two aides, and having Andre Schurrl take his place in the game.
“I can’t really remember much of the game,” Kramer went on to tell Die Welt. “I don’t know anything else. In my head, the game starts from the second half.”
The fact that the medical teams allowed Kramer to continue playing with an obvious concussion has led to some criticism over FIFA’s lack of policy for such a common occurrence. In this last World Cup alone, three players suffered from serious head injuries. Some are arguing for at least relaxing the rules on substations for cases like Kramer’s.
Still, despite the setback in Sunday’s game, Germany was able to keep the team in sync, beating Argentina 1-0 to take claim the World Cup for the fourth time.