Euro 2020: Wild scenes as parachutist hurtles from sky, crashes & is comforted by Rudiger... who’s accused of biting Pogba (VIDEO)
There were fears that the man, who had clearly lost controlled of his direction as he tumbled from the sky in the alarming descent, had been seriously injured or hurt members of the crowd after he plunged towards the main stand before landing on the turf at shocking speed.
His trajectory included a collision with the overhead 'spider cam', and his flight path may have been disrupted by the criss-cross mid-air wiring that connects the technology at the Allianz Arena, which is usually home to Bayern Munich.
Worried Chelsea defender Rudiger rushed across to check on the man's welfare, attempting to help him as he sheepishly took to his feet while looking as if he had miraculously escaped a severe outcome.
Greenpeace activist parachuted into the Allianz Arena just before the game started - debris from his apparatus hit Didier Deschamps & Guy Stéphan but both are fine. pic.twitter.com/8hF2dWTcN6— Get French Football News (@GFFN) June 15, 2021
In an update from the press box, which had one of the best views in the house of the freak fall due to being well above where the man landed, a well-known French football site said that debris from the apparatus had hit France boss Didier Deschamps and his assistant, Guy Stephan.
Greenpeace later confirmed that they had organized the stunt as a protest against the use of oil by one of the match sponsors – German car manufacturer Volkswagen.
+++ BREAKING +++ Hey @Volkswagen, time to kick out oil! #Greenpeace activists protest against the games' sponsor at the #FRAGER-match and demand: stop selling climate-damaging diesel and petrol cars! #EURO2020pic.twitter.com/YpDxGVxzIM— Greenpeace e.V. (@greenpeace_de) June 15, 2021
"Stop selling climate-damaging diesel and petrol cars," the environmental group demanded on social media, adding the Euro 2020 hashtag.
The post from the stadium said that neither Bleus coach was hurt, although it is likely that both would have been shaken just minutes before their side were due to play their titanic opening match at the tournament.
Rudiger did a Suarez on Pogba 😭😂😭 pic.twitter.com/UZJAo09HA2— Footy Humour (@FootyHumour) June 15, 2021
Did Antonio Rudiger attempt to bite Paul Pogba?! 👀 pic.twitter.com/EBWLWx8vxP— International Champions Cup (@IntChampionsCup) June 15, 2021
There was a more reassuring sight for the France bench 20 minutes into the game, as Germany defender Mats Hummels sent the ball into his own net to give the World Cup holders the lead.
Just when players, coaching staff and viewers could have been forgiven for suspecting they had seen enough bizarre developments for one evening, a baffling set-to broke out between Germany's Rudiger and France midfielder Pogba.
Geez Rudiger is a bit of a dog isn't he?First he takes out De Bruyne now he takes a bite out of Paul Pogba.Turning out to be one dirty player. pic.twitter.com/auc7zU7ZBO— JAKE BUCKLEY 🇦🇺 (@TheMasterBucks) June 15, 2021
In a scene that drew immediate comparisons to Uruguay striker Luis Suarez's infamous bite at the 2014 World Cup, Champions League winner Rudiger appeared to motion his mouth towards Pogba's back as they tussled while standing in close proximity to one another.
The Manchester United midfielder gawped in pain and looked over his shoulder as Rudiger grappled with him, although it was not clear whether he was reacting to something his marker had done, nor whether Rudiger had actually bitten him.
Rüdiger bit Pogba.— Maximilian Peter Schmidt (@RiotMAXtheX) June 15, 2021
The German, who was wearing the kind of face mask that Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne will have to don after Rudiger broke his eye socket in the Champions League final, responded by appearing to put his arms around Pogba and grasp at his chest.
Pundits were as confused by the drama as most fans on social media. "When you see that Pogba reaction, it looked like a bite," suggested France legend Patrick Vieira on ITV. "I don't fully understand what he was trying to do there."
Did Rudiger actually bite Pogba? I’ve watched it so many times and I’m still not sure— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) June 15, 2021
‘A nibble not a proper bite’ Roy Keane dismissing Rudiger’s attempt to fully immerse himself in the Hannibal Lecter costume, as he went for a slither of Pogba.— Gabby Logan (@GabbyLogan) June 15, 2021
"If he's bitten him, [Pogba's] going to flinch there," reasoned former England striker Ian Wright. "He's not flinched at all. I don't know what's happened."
Former United hardman Roy Keane described the act as "more of a nibble". "It wasn't proper biting, was it?" he asked. "What a silly thing to do."Also on rt.com Starter for 10: Cristiano Ronaldo beats Platini’s Euro goals record as Portugal blast past Hungary in front of 60,000 fans (VIDEO)