In recent days, Loris Karius’ performance in the Champions League final has been seen in a whole new light.
The German committed two costly errors to allow Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale to score, with the Welshman also netting a sublime overhead kick that the goalkeeper could do nothing about.
The fact that no Liverpool players consoled their stopper at full-time just summed up the feeling that he had almost single-handedly cost his side the game.
However, Massachusetts General Hospital – of which Liverpool owner John Henry happens to be a trustee – have since revealed that the stopper was suffering from concussion.
It’s little surprise that Sergio Ramos had something to do with it, as footage shows the controversial centre-back appearing to elbow Karius in the head.
“After carefully reviewing game film and integrating a detailed history – including his reported present and immediate post-contact subjective symptoms – physical examination and objective metrics, we have concluded that Mr. Karius sustained a concussion during the match May 26, 2018,” the hospital’s statement read.
OFFICIAL | UEFA confirm Sergio Ramos will not face any disciplinary action after appearing to elbow Loris Karius in the UCL final. pic.twitter.com/qdnfG4XZXg
— golazolive (@golaz0live) May 29, 2018
It raises all kinds of questions about how head injuries are treated. Hugo Lloris’ concussion against Everton in 2013, when the Tottenham goalkeeper played on, was a game-changer for the FA, who introduced new first aid rules on the back of the incident.
That said, not everyone is convinced by suggestions that Karius’ blunders were solely a result of his knock.
Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos is among the unconverted, quoted by German publication Bild:
“I don’t know if that explains the errors – I don’t really see it that way. If it’s a concussion and you notice it so extreme, I don’t know if you can or should continue playing.
“If it’s a concussion, it cannot have been so serious. He also had the opportunity to keep the ball in his hands.”
The truth is nobody knows whether Karius’ alleged concussion affected the game and because Liverpool’s medical team didn’t say anything at the time, it’s very difficult for anything to be done about it now.
These were far from the first errors Karius has made since joining the Reds in 2016.
Unfortunately, his performance wasn’t out of character, but it must be even more heartbreaking for him – and we all saw his tears at the final whistle – if he was genuinely impeded from giving his best.
There’s already a petition doing the rounds to replay the final, which over 2,500 crazed Liverpool fans have signed. Contrary to those hopes, we’ll never know how things might have turned out differently were it not for pesky Sergio Ramos.