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Antonio Rudiger talks Barcelona, Champions League, Ancelotti and Luka Modric

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Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images

Antonio Rudiger sat down with Diario AS in an exclusive interview, where the Real Madrid defender revealed Barcelona’s interest in him just before his move to Santiago Bernabeu.

The German international also offered his thoughts on Carlo Ancelotti, along with his desire to win the Champions League with Real Madrid.

Here are the excerpts from his interview with the Spanish publication.

On his move to Real Madrid: “I always dreamed of playing in the Premier League. Playing for Real Madrid is something I NEVER expected to happen to me.”

On interest from other clubs: “Obviously there were more teams that wanted me, but I only considered two, Chelsea and Real Madrid.”

On Barcelona’s interest: “Barcelona wanted me but I didn’t even consider that option. Barça did knock on my door but for me, it was not a possibility. Having the opportunity to play with Modric, Kroos & Benzema, it was difficult to say no.”

On his goal at Real Madrid: “My goal with Real Madrid? Win as much as possible. I want to win the UCL with Madrid. When you think of Real Madrid, you think of the Champions League.”

On Real Madrid’s prospects this season: “There are 6 titles at stake and we want to win all of them. We play for Real Madrid and that should be the goal.”

On retiring at Real Madrid: “Retire at Madrid? Dude, I’ve only been here a few months and you already want to retire me! (laughs). I feel good, if I can still play for Real Madrid at 37 years old like Modric, I will (laughs).”

On Luka Modric: “I call Modric the ‘Maestro’. What he does at 37 years old is something from another world. Even at 37 years old, on the big stage that is Real Madrid, nobody is at his level.”

On his defensive partners at Real Madrid: “Militão & Alaba are top, top CBs and that makes everything easier. Also Nacho, I love playing with him.”

On Pepe: “Pepe is a top 3 CB of this generation in my opinion. I like him a lot.”

On Carlo Ancelotti: “Conte & Spalleti are very tough. Sarri is also very demanding. But Ancelotti is different. He is a gentleman, he has a lot of experience, he is calm.”

On playing fewer matches than expected: “Playing less? I think I’m playing too much (laughs). We have a great team and competition with several very good players in my position. They won La Liga & the UCL last season. You have to respect that. Everything comes in it’s time.”

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Real Madrid News

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success

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Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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