Rudiger says Ancelotti key to Real Madrid move

Rudiger says Ancelotti key to Real Madrid move

Antonio Rudiger said on Monday that Carlo Ancelotti was instrumental in his decision to join Real Madrid from Chelsea this summer.

Rudiger has moved to the Santiago Bernabeu on a free transfer after opting not to extend his contract at Chelsea. The 29-year-old defender has signed a four-year deal with the reigning Spanish and European champions.

Rudiger, speaking at his presentation ceremony at the club’s training ground in Valdebebas, said he made his decision in April, after a conversation with the Italian coach.

“The first time I made contact, not really me, my agent, was in early September. The second time I spoke with Mr. Ancelotti was in April,” Rudiger said.

“It was the most important moment, talking with Mr. Ancelotti. That’s when I made my choice, that I wanted to play for this club under him.

“He said he wanted me, was confident in my abilities, that I could be very useful to the team, and at my age, that’s enough. In the end, it’s Mr Ancelotti. You always know in Madrid that nothing is guaranteed. You have to fight for your place. I am ready to do that.”

Besides turning down the chance to stay at Chelsea, Rudiger said Barcelona are also interested in him. “There was interest from Barcelona but I told my brother, it’s Real or nothing,” Rudiger said.

The German will compete with Eder Militao and David Alaba for a place in Madrid’s central defense next season, although Ancelotti could also switch to a back three in defense to accommodate an impressive trio of options.

– ‘Stacked’ –

Following the departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane last year, Militao and Alaba have formed a superb partnership, becoming a vital part of Madrid’s success last season.

“Real Madrid are full of very, very good players, also in my position,” Rudiger said.

“But I plan to go there with confidence. What do I bring? Competition, which is healthy for everyone. It keeps everyone going and I’m looking forward to the challenge .”

Rudiger became known at Chelsea for his combative style and dynamic performances in the Premier League. He is committed to being a leader in the Real Madrid dressing room.

“With me, you never know what to expect off the pitch. I like to laugh, I like to dance,” Rudiger said.

“But on the pitch, I’m serious. I don’t like to joke. I hope what I can bring is my fighting spirit, my leadership. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I have to come here, adapt, speak Spanish, I’ll do my best.

When asked if there were any Real Madrid defenders he particularly admired, Rudiger said: “There were a lot of top centre-backs, but the one I really liked was Pepe. Apparently , off the pitch a very nice person, but on the pitch a freak. I like that,” Rudiger said.

Rudiger was on the pitch and scored, as Chelsea trailed 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in April, only for Real Madrid to pull off an incredible comeback to reach the Champions League semi-finals.

“It was a very intense night, it was my first time at the Bernabeu,” Rudiger said. “What Madrid did last year in the Champions League was… I don’t know how to describe it, amazing.”

Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 in the final in Paris, to win the club’s 14th European Cup.

“In the final I knew I was going to be a Real Madrid player and I was supporting them,” Rudiger added. “I lost two finals against Liverpool with my old team, so I was very happy that Real beat them.”

your / mw