If there was one thing to take away from France’s 0-0 draw against Germany, other than the fact that Alphonse Aréola is in fact a very good goalkeeper, it’s that Antonio Rüdiger’s feet don’t move quickly enough.
The Chelsea defender was tackled by right-back Benjamin Pavard in the second minute of the game, and accidentally (debatable) let his studs scrape along the Frenchman’s neck, leaving some rather nasty scratch marks.
Even if he took to social media to apologise to the Stuttgart starlet after the game, many felt Rüdiger could have moved his foot away, including former France international Jérome Rothen, who vented his frustration at the German’s aggressiveness on RMC Sport’s L’After on Thursday night.
He said: “You saw it in all of his challenges. On corners, he’s excited. In that kind of situation, if you want to avoid the guy, you avoid him, without a doubt.”
The nasty stamp from Rudiger on Pavard. Looks an intentional kick out from the last angle. pic.twitter.com/4rlrIdMxeu
— Ball Street (@BallStreet) 7 September 2018
Among some of the throwaway comments in the conversation, the presenter Gilbert Brisbois presented the topic as ‘Butcher’ Rüdiger, insinuating the Chelsea had left his foot there on purpose, intentionally trying to hurt Pavard in some way.
They might be a bit biased, being French and all, but the more you look at the challenge, the less it looks like an accident.
Just fall over, Antonio. Don’t use the defender as a stabiliser.