Germany midfielder Christopher Kramer had forgotten he was playing in the World Cup final after taking a smack to the head, referee Nicola Rizzoli has revealed.
Kramer head collided with Argentina defender Ezequiel Garay's shoulder in the 19th minute of Sunday's showpiece, which Joachim Low's men won 1-0 after extra-time, but was allowed to play on.
However, he was substituted in the 32nd minute as the severity of his problem became apparent and it was later revealed that the Borussia Monchengladbach had suffered from concussion, leading to criticism of Fifa's protocol over such injuries.
And the game's referee Rizzoli has now disclosed the nature of a bizarre conversation that led to Kramer to being replaced by Andre Schurrle.
He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Shortly after the blow suffered by Garay, Kramer came to me and asked: 'Ref, is this the final?'
"I thought he was joking, he repeated the question and said: 'I need to know if this is really the final.'
"At my 'yes', amazed, he concluded: 'Thanks, it was important to know'. I advised Bastian Schweinsteiger and they replaced Kramer."
The player who came on for Kramer, Schurrle, eventually went on to grab the assist for Mario Gotze's winner late in the game which crowned Germany as world champions for the first time since 1990.