Manchester United’s Paul Pogba has disclosed that he forgave Antonio Rudiger for “nibbling” at his back when both sides represented their nations at their opening game of EURO 2020.
World champions France kicked off their campaign with a win at Germany’s expense. The 2014 World Cup winners lost 1-0 at the Allianz Arena to an own goal from Mats Hummels. Despite the scoreline, Joachim Low’s men were never really in control and could have lost by a wider margin.
Pogba was deservedly voted man of the match, his beautiful dink pass to left-back, Lucas Hernandez allowed the Bayern Munich man to send in a cross-shot that ricocheted off the Dortmund defender into his own goal.
Pogba and Rudiger came together near the end of the first half, with replays showing the Chelsea man putting his face close to Pogba’s back before reaching his arms around his chest.
The midfielder protested to the referee but there was no call on the field, nor was there a VAR review.
“We’re friends,” Pogba said to reporters at the end of the game. “This was nothing big. I think you saw the TV pictures, this is all over, this belongs to the past. I’m not crying for yellow or red cards for such actions. He nibbled, I think, a little bit on me.”
“We’ve known each other for a long time. 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, Pogba said.
France would continue their quest for European glory against Hungary on Saturday. A win would guarantee a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament.