“Only two options”- Former Chelsea defender opens up on his summer exit

Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger makes revelation about his departure from Chelsea

Talking to German outlet Sport1 (h/t Football.London), former Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger revealed that he would have not left Stamford Bridge for a club other than Real Madrid. The German international also shared about the mixed feelings he had while playing the European champions in the Champions League quarter-final last season.

Rudiger was signed by Chelsea in the summer of 2017 from Italian side AS Roma. However, it wasn’t until Thomas Tuchel’s appointment as the Blues manager that his game went on another level and at par with some of the best in Europe.

Tuchel’s back-three formation suited the player, who used to play on the left-hand side of the three. He was comfortable progressing with the ball, being physically strong in challenges with forwards and being a presence in box boxes.

Barcelona confirm the arrival of former Chelsea star Andreas Christensen on a four-year deal.
Antonio Rudiger played some of his best football under Thomas Tuchel. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Speaking about leaving Chelsea, here’s what Rudiger said (h/t Football.London):

“There were only two options for me: either I stay at Chelsea or I go to Real. Germany was not a serious prospect. At the end of April, it [a move to Real Madrid] became really concrete. But before everything was clear, my brother fooled me a bit. We played with Chelsea against Real in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.”

“After the first-leg defeat, he suddenly said to me: ‘Toni, I don’t know if this will still work. In the second leg, you have to show everything so that the change works.’ My head was shattered, but that spurred me on.”

The upturn in the 29-year-old’s form did put the club in a situation where they had to offer him a contract extension, which was expiring this past summer. He was eventually offered an extension with a wage in excess of £200,000 per week. This amount would have made him the highest-paid Chelsea defender.

However, the offer was not accepted by Rudiger. With the Blues getting sanctioned because of their Russian owner and the incidents revolving around Russia, they could not pursue further negotiations with the German international.

Real Madrid to send doctors for Antonio Rudiger's medical. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
Rudiger would not have left Chelsea for any club other than Real Madrid. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)

The former Roma man played in both legs against Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final last season. He particularly did very well in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, which might have further strengthened the Spanish side’s belief in him.

Rudiger was a beast and will be missed at Chelsea. He was not only a great defender but an infectious character and a leader at the back.

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Hopefully, Wesley Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly can make a difference at the club and help us get over Rudiger and Andreas Christensen’s departure this summer.