Rudy's World Cup debut: Blood, praise and emotions

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Sebastian Rudy will never forget his first World Cup match, for two reasons: Germany's highly emotional victory over Sweden and his nose. After an unintended kick to the face he sustained a nasal bone fracture. The bleeding Rudy had to be subbed off.

"A bit of bad luck was involved," commented the FC Bayern pro: "Of course I wanted to go on, no question. But the bleeding just didn't stop." It was a bit surprising that the 28-year-old, who had not played the full 90 minutes for Germany for the whole season, made the starting line-up on Saturday, but Rudy proved a cool customer in Sochi. "Sebastian did a good job, he did it with aplomb," Toni Kroos praised his Germany team-mate.

Rudy almost missed Kroos' stoppage-time match-winner. "I was in the dressing room and had to lie down because it was bleeding. When everyone was cheering I quickly went to the screen, and of course I was overjoyed," revealed the World Cup debutant. He travelled back to the team base with "slight breathing problems" but without pain. Rudy aims to feature in the decisive group match against South Korea on Wednesday: "I hope it'll work out."

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