Roberto Martinez: 'Reckless' Rudiger deserved red for De Bruyne clash

Roberto Martinez blasts ‘reckless’ Antonio Rudiger and insists he should’ve been SENT OFF for collision with Kevin De Bruyne during Champions League final… as Belgium boss waits for injury update on talisman before Euro 2020

  • Kevin De Bruyne came off injured in Saturday’s Champions League final 
  • The Manchester City man fractured his nose bone and eye in a nasty collision 
  • Antonio Rudiger, who was part of the collision, says the move was not intentional
  • Belgium boss Roberto Martinez says the Chelsea man should have been sent off 

Roberto Martinez has unleashed his anger on Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger by claiming the German should have been sent off for injuring his Belgium player Kevin De Bruyne.

Rudiger collided with Manchester City and Belgium midfielder De Bruyne during Saturday’s Champions League final, which the Blues won 1-0, with Rudiger playing the whole game and keeping a clean sheet.

De Bruyne had to come off after fracturing a bone in his nose and his eye socket, with the 29-year-old set to be a key player in Martinez’s Belgium squad at this summer’s European Championships. 

Roberto Martinez says Antonio Rudiger’s challenge on Kevin de Bruyne was a red card offence

Belgium manager Martinez (above) was concerned about the fitness of star man de Bruyne

Martinez claimed Rudiger should have been sent off for ‘excessive force’ with his shoulder and the German defender was ‘hiding’ a reaction immediately after the challenge.

The Belgium manager 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. 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.

De Bruyne was forced off Saturday’s Champions League final after fracturing his nose and eye

‘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.’

De Bruyne confirmed his diagnosis in a Twitter message on Sunday, claiming he is set to be back from action soon ahead of the summer international tournament with Belgium.

The City star tweeted: ‘Hi guys just got back from the hospital. My diagnosis is acute nose bone fracture and left orbital fracture. 

Chelsea star Rudiger (right) insisted the tackle on Man City’s De Bruyne was not intentional

Rudiger apologised for De Bruyne’s in-game injury but insisted it was not intentional from him

‘I feel okay now. Still disappointed about yesterday obviously but we will be back.’  

Rudiger, however, has defended his actions and wished the Belgium midfielder a quick recovery from injury – whilst insisting the challenge was not intentional. 

The Chelsea man tweeted: ‘I’m really sorry for @DeBruyneKev’s injury. Of course this was not intentional from me – I’ve already been in touch with Kevin personally and I really wish him a speedy recovery & hope we can see him back on the pitch very soon again.’




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