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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

Real Madrid midfielder set to sign a four-year contract with the club

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

In a major development, journalist Tomas Gonzalez-Martin is reporting that Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has decided to sign a new contract with the club and will pen a four-year deal to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 26-year-old midfielder’s current contract with Real Madrid stands to expire at the end of the season. And there had been conflicting reports over whether he would be offered a new deal by the Merengues.

But the Spaniard has managed to turn things around spectacularly in recent weeks, putting up top displays one after the other, helping Real Madrid emerge out of a poor run at the start of the new year.

It has convinced the club to hand him a new contract and it seems like things are moving swiftly on the renewal front for Ceballos.

Indeed, as per the update from Tomas Gonzalez-Martin, Real Madrid have decided to offer him a new four-year contract that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2027. It will see the midfielder receive an improved salary to the one that he is currently earning.

And Ceballos has decided to sign the deal. The former Real Betis ace has always maintained that he wants to continue at the Bernabeu beyond the current campaign. And the two parties could now be close to shaking hands on a new contract.

Ceballos joined Real Madrid from Real Betis back in 2017, arriving as one of the most talented young midfielders in La Liga. However, he found the going tough initially, thanks to the hegemony of the midfield trio of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro.

The Spaniard spent a couple of seasons on loan at Arsenal before returning to the club in 2021. If not for an injury while away at the Tokyo Olympics, Ceballos could have been sold that year.

Having returned to action in January last year, he has slowly but surely gained importance in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans. And he is now set to be rewarded with a new four-year contract by the champions of Spain and Europe.

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