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Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has slammed Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger after the Champions League final. Manchester City captain Kevin De Bruyne was forced off through injury in the 60th minute, two weeks before Euro 2020 commences.
Chelsea defeated Man City 1-0 in Saturday’s all-English affair, with Kai Havertz netting the decisive goal late in the first half.
In what was a nightmare inaugural Champions League final, De Bruyne’s early exit didn’t help Pep Guardiola’s side, who mustered just one shot on target in Porto.
The 29-year-old left the pitch in tears after a heavy collision with Rudiger, for which the Chelsea defender received a yellow card.
De Bruyne’s injury has left many questioning whether he’ll be fit for the start of the European Championships this summer.
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He was likely to play a significant role for Belgium, and the nation’s manager Roberto Martinez has had his say on Saturday’s incident.
Martinez believes Rudiger shouldn’t have remained on the pitch following his “reckless” challenge, as he now sweats on the fitness of his main man.
He said: “For me, Rudiger is very, very fortunate. When you look at the replay, there’s no clash of heads.
“He’s properly leaving the shoulder against Kevin. He seems concussed, and we will see the state of that.
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“But that leaves a sour taste because Rudiger’s holding his head. It’s almost that he wants to show that he’s hiding something.
“For me, it was excessive force, and it was reckless. And it should have been a red card.
“Kevin is not a player that goes down for no reason. You can see the pain, and it’s a swollen eye.
Rudiger has since taken to Twitter to address the incident, apologising to De Bruyne and emphasising that it wasn’t intentional.
De Bruyne has also provided an update on his condition, confirming to his followers on Twitter he’s suffered a nose break and fractured eye socket.
Specialists have confirmed a double fracture to his eye socket, which throws the midfield maestro’s international availability into serious doubt.
With Belgium kicking off their Euro 2020 campaign against Russia in less than two weeks, Martinez may have to look at other squad members to make an impact.
De Bruyne is due to link up with the Belgium camp next Monday after a pre-arranged week off, so more information on his condition will likely come to light at that stage.
The Red Devils enter Euro 2020 among the tournament favourites this summer, especially considering Martinez’s side are ranked No 1 in the FIFA world rankings.
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