MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich has signed France defender Benjamin Pavard from Bundesliga rival Stuttgart for next season.
The Bavarian team says the 22-year-old Pavard, who played six games at right back to help France win the World Cup, will join on July 1.
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Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic says Pavard has singed “a five-year contract. He’s a young player and a world champion. We’re very glad and proud to have gained such a player for FC Bayern.”
Pavard helped Stuttgart to Bundesliga promotion in 2017 after joining from Lille the year before. He has played 69 league games, though he is currently out with a thigh injury.
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German defender Antonio Rudiger has taken to social media to apologize to French defender Benjamin Pavard for stomping on his neck in the early stages of their 0-0 draw in the UEFA Nations League on Thursday. Rudiger was bombing down the left flank in just the third minute of the match, when Pavard slid in to successfully dispossess his opponent. After doing so, the two became tangled, and Rudiger’s boot landed straight on Pavard’s neck while he was prone on the ground.
The incident drew massive attention after Pavard came off the pitch with nasty cleat marks slashed across his neck. The Frenchman remained in the game for the rest of the match, while Rudiger mystifyingly came out of the incident without earning a yellow card.
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After the replay was shown, fans and analysts questioned whether the stamp was intentional, as Rudiger appeared relatively well-balanced throughout the play and quite uninhibited by the tackle, although it happened at such high speed and is certainly impossible to discern true intention. The German professed his innocence amid the apology.
Pavard came off the field and sported brutal slash marks clean across the right side of his neck, but was able to continue the match.
It’s unlikely that his immediate future with his club Stuttgart could be in jeopardy from the injury. France does not have another match scheduled this international break, while the German club doesn’t play next until September 16.
Benjamin Pavard’s summer of dreams continues to get better.
The 22-year-old defender learned Wednesday that his stunning half-volley strike for France against Argentina had been named the best goal of the 2018 World Cup. The goal was selected by fans voting online on FIFA’s website.
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We’d describe the goal for you again, but we think the video below speaks for himself.
“The ball bounced up as it came to me. I didn’t even think about it. I just tried to get over it and keep it down,” Pavard told FIFA’s website. “I was trying to hit it in the direction it came from, which is what the strikers always tell me. I didn’t think it over, and when it went in I just felt so happy.”
It was Pavard’s first goal for Les Bleus. Combined with his World Cup medal, it’s a goal he’ll never forget.
And just like that, France is back in front.
Les Bleus have scored three goals in 12 minutes to pull ahead against Argentina, 3-2, behind goals from Benjamin Pavard and Kylian Mbappe.
Pavard netted one of the goals of the tournament, with a slicing volley from the right side of the box into the top-left corner.
Meanwhile, Mbappe weaved his way through the Argentine backline following a failed clearance from the South Americans.