Pogba speaks out on alleged bite incident with Rudiger in Euro 2020 clash

Paul Pogba leapt to the defence of Antonio Rudiger after the pair were caught up in a biting incident as France beat Germany.

Germany and Chelsea defender Rudiger appeared to bite France and Manchester United midfielder Pogba on the back during the first-half in Munich.

Pogba cried out and complained to referee Carlos del Cerro Grande, but the Spanish official decided to take no action over the episode.

After France edged victory, thanks to a Mats Hummels own goal, man of the match Pogba defended Rudiger and said he did not want to see him hit with a retrospective ban.

Antonio Rudiger was filmed appearing to bite Paul Pogba during France vs Germany

“With Tony, we are friends,” said Pogba. “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, but 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. It’s over, I just want to play football.

“He hasn’t received any card, I think it’s better like this. I don’t want him to be suspended because of such a situation. At the end of the match we hugged each other and that’s it.”

Pogba and Rudiger shared several words at full-time, and appeared to be completely amicable, suggesting there is absolutely no bad blood between them.

(RESTRICTIONS: For editorial news reporting purposes only. Images must appear as still images and must not emulate match action video footage. Photographs published in online publications shall have an interval of at least 20 seconds between the posting.) Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (12084236hs) (L-R) – Antonio Ruediger of Germany, Paul Pogba of France and N’Golo Kante of France react after the UEFA EURO 2020 group F preliminary round soccer match between France and Germany in Munich, Germany, 15 June 2021. Group F France vs Germany, Munich – 15 Jun 2021

Speaking on ITV at half-time, pundits Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira and Ian Wright were undecided on the full extent of the ‘bite’.

Ex-Arsenal captain Vieira, a World Cup winner in 1998 and European Championship winner in 2000 with France, said: “When you see that Pogba reaction, it looks like a bite.

“I don’t really understand what he is trying to do there.”

Former Manchester United skipper Keane said: “I think it was more of a nibble than a bite. It wasn’t a proper bite but a silly thing to do.”

Wright however insisted Pogba was making a meal of the incident: “He’s not flinched at all. I can’t see it.”

There has been no comment from UEFA on the incident.

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