Germany's World Cup Winner Can't Remember Anything About The Final

It's about time FIFA updated its concussion-related policies.

Germany World Cup

The memories of last month's FIFA World Cup will long live in the memories of the German nation, but one man who was a part of that historic night in Brazil has already forgotten it.

The man in question is midfielder Christoph Kramer who was in Germany's starting eleven in the tournament deciding game against Argentina. The 23-year-old played half an hour of football that night but now has zero recollections of the time he spent on the pitch.

It's not the height of his ambition that has made him forget his involvement in that game. Kramer is actually medically incapable of doing that. Quarter of an hour into that physically exhausting encounter, he was involved in a nasty collision with Argentina's Ezequiel Garay that left him concussed.

He was visibly dazed but still managed – and allowed – to play for another 15 minutes before the madness ended and he was taken off the field. The trauma to his brain was so immense that soon after the incident he asked referee Nicola Rizzoli: "Ref, is this the final?"

It was expected that Kramer's memories from the game would return with time, but the Borussia Monchengladbach man has now revealed that doctors have given up hope.

"The doctors are certain that my memories of that part of the World Cup final will not come back," he recently told the weekly magazine Focus.

Not many realize that but concussions are one of the worst things that can happen to an athlete on the field of play. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – a degenerative disease – it leads to has ended numerous careers and forced many to commit suicide and even murders.

Even worse is that concussions go undetected on X-rays and CT scans, while CTE doesn't fully develop until years or even decades after the injury. Once it does, it results in a spike in the patient's dementia, aggression, confusion and depression.

Germany World Cup

In recent years, several NFL players like Junior Seau and Ray Easterling have ended their own lives after finding themselves unable to cope with their condition. Disgraced professional wrestler Chris Benoit – who murdered his entire family before killing himself – also suffered from the same condition although it never showed up in his medical tests.

These cases and general awareness has led sports authorities to tighten up its concussion-related rules, although FIFA, like in most cases, is a bit behind. For Kramer to be allowed to continue by the referee despite his condition and the question he had asked to the ref just shows how much the game of football needs to catch up with the rest of the sporting world when it comes to concussions.

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