After five incredibly successful seasons in Chelseawhere he became one of the leading central defenders in European football, Rudiger will move to the Spanish capital with a free transfer, signing a four-year contract.
The 29-year-old was part of the team of Thomas Tuchel, who won his second title in the Champions League last year. He is now poised to become a key member of the four-time European champions Madrid next season.
After undergoing a medical examination, Rudiger revealed how much he admired Real Madrid when he grew up, mentioning in particular Ronaldo Nazario and Zinedine Zidane. The German national said at a press conference (how Mundo Deportivo):
“I remember Ronaldo Nazario; he was my idol. We all wanted to be like him. Zidane too, the goal he scored against Leverkusen.”
The goal against Leverkusen mentioned by Rudiger was Zidane’s iconic left-footed volley outside the penalty area in the 2002 Champions League final, which Los Blancos won 2-1 at Hampden Park.
Zidane played with Ronaldo four seasons after the Brazilian superstar striker moved to the Bernabeu from Inter Milan after the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Both players are considered two of the greatest in the modern era and have won three Golden Balls. .
Antonio Rudiger admits Carlo Ancelotti for convincing him to join Real Madrid
Rudiger, a former Roma central defender, will face stiff competition to start for Madrid. This is because people like Eder Militao and David Alaba in Madrid are among the best in his position.
However, when asked why he chose Real Madrid, the defender said that their manager Carlo Ancelotti talked to him, which ultimately sealed his decision. Rudiger said:
“The first time there was contact between Madrid and my agent was in September; the second time I talked to Ancelotti was in April. That was the most important thing. That’s where I decided to play for Madrid with Ancelotti.”
The German added:
“The conversation with Ancelotti. He told me that he trusted me, that he expected a lot, that I could help them … … and that’s a lot. We are talking about Ancelotti. We already know that there is competition in Madrid, but I am ready to fight for my place. “
Rudiger had a solid 2021-22 season, scoring five goals and four assists in 54 games in various competitions, with the Blues winning two races and reaching the finals of two more.