The reigning World Champions opened their account at the Euros in style by winning 0-1 against Germany courtesy of a first half own goal from Mats Hummels. It was an intense tactician battle between two top teams where Didier Deschamps got the better of Joachim Low.
The match had several intense moments but Antonio Rudiger’s duel with Paul Pogba beats all of them. The German defender however denied biting the Frenchman as it appeared in the pictures from the match.
It around the end of the first half Rudiger was seen grabbing Pogba with his arms around the chest of the midfielder. Later he was seen pushing his face towards Pogba’s shoulders. The Manchester United midfielder was seen complaining to the referee about the incident.
When questioned about the incident Pogba described it as a nibble than a bite in the post match interview. He also shared how is good friends with Rudiger and never wanted him to be sent off.
“We’re friends,” he said. “This was nothing big. I’m not crying for yellow or red cards for such actions. He nibbled, I think, a little bit on me.
“I felt it, I told the referee, he takes the decisions and he took the decision. He hasn’t received any card and I think it’s better like this. I don’t want him to be suspended because of this.”
The Chelsea defender who won the Champions League this season admitted the incident as a disappointment. But he also added that he meant no harm to the Frenchman and felt the referee did the right thing in that situation.
“I should not come close with my mouth to his back, no doubt about it. It looks unfortunate,” the 28-year-old told reporters after the game. “Paul and I have talked about it as friends after the final whistle.
“And he stated in our little talk and talking to the press that it was no bite, as some viewers first thought it was. Even during the match, the ref told me that he would have punished me if he thought that it was violent conduct.”
The Germans will now face reigning champions Portugal in their next match while France will look forward to facing Hungary who lost their first match against Cristiano Ronaldo and company.