Harald 'Toni' Schumacher, the West Germany goalkeeper who became notorious for his challenge on Patrick Battiston in the 1982 World Cup, has said he regrets not having shown more concern for his stricken opponent.
Schumacher, now 60, will forever be remembered for his wild tackle on France defender Battiston as the West Germans edged a dramatic semifinal.
When Battiston raced through after a pass from Michel Platini in the 57th minute, Schumacher charged into him with his shoulder. The France player was knocked out, lost two front teeth and suffered broken ribs and back damage.
Schumacher -- who was not even booked -- showed little interest in his opponent in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
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And as France and Germany prepare to meet in the World Cup quarterfinals on Friday, he expressed his sorrow to French radio station RMC, saying: "I regret not having looked after Patrick when he was on the ground.
"I also regret not having gone to the hospital to visit him. But I did eventually apologise to Patrick, and he accepted it. This story should have ended in 1982, but it's part of my life and I live with it."
The former Cologne keeper said he had been in something like a trance during what he recalled as "the game of the century."
"I was always in that state. It was my way of playing tough," he explained. "I always tried to bring a type of warrior mentality so that the team might end up winning.
"I was raised with the values of work and honesty, with the idea of never giving up. That's what I did against France, like with every game.
"I do these interviews about what happened because I think, thanks to that, I will be able to convince at least one French person that I'm not a bad guy. For that reason alone, it's worth the effort."