<p>German football star Antonio Rüdiger is wearing a mask at Euro 2020.</p>

German football star Antonio Rüdiger is wearing a mask at Euro 2020.

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German football star Antonio Rüdiger is wearing a mask for the England vs. Germany match at Euro 2020 — but it’s not the sort of mask we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the past year.

Instead, the Chelsea and Germany defender dons a black mask over his eyes, drawing comparisons to Batman and his sidekick — and seriously confusing Twitter, as well.

As exciting as it would be if Rüdiger was choosing to pursue super-heroism full time, such is not the case. It turns out the Rüdiger’s mask is a protective measure.

The mask was constructed to protect the player’s facial bones, preventing potential further damage in light of a recent injury sustained amid Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final clash against Real Madrid.

“He has a little bone injury on the side of the face,” Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said of the match in April. “The collision [with Alvaro Odriozola] at the very end of the game was a bit unlucky.”

Rüdiger has played with the mask since the incident, opting to do amid the European championship match against England, as well.

While some Twitter users are puzzled, others have grown quite fond of Rüdiger’s newfound aesthetic, hoping he keeps it for good.

Well, there you have it! Rüdiger is not a superhero on the side (that we know of) and nor is he cos-playing as Bain (”no one cared who I was until I put in the mask”): There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for why he’s wearing the mask.

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