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Real Madrid defender on snubbing PSG for Bernabeu move: “If you want to be on the winning side”

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Coming into the summer transfer window of last year, Antonio Rudiger was a man in demand as his contract with Chelsea was expiring. The Blues were trying to renew, there had been links with Barcelona and strong interest from PSG as well. But, ultimately, the German ace opted to join Real Madrid.

The German international recently chatted in an interview with Canal+ Afrique (h/t Madrid Xtra), during which he opened up on his decision to choose the Merengues over other clubs such as PSG.

“There were a lot of rumours, when PSG came, it was something I was not looking for. It’s nothing against PSG, it’s a beautiful club. But Real Madrid are Real Madrid,” Rudiger said.

“If you want to be on the winning side, you join Real Madrid,” he added.

Rudiger also revealed a touching story from the past when Real Madrid president Florentino Perez had written him a letter, way back in 2016, when the German had suffered an ACL injury.

“I received a letter from Florentino Perez in 2016, I have the letter every day in front of me. I said man like me, will one day arrive there,” he said.

“When I got an ACL injury in 2016, Florentino Pérez sent me a letter wishing me a speedy recovery. I couldn’t believe it. I still have the letter, my mother has it kept,” he added, further elaborating on the incident.

The veteran defender, who is seen as an important part of Carlo Ancelotti’s team, opened up on when he really felt he could make the jump to Real Madrid and said that the UEFA Champions League triumph with Chelsea in 2020/21 made him believe that he can move to the Bernabeu.

“The moment I knew I can go to Real Madrid is when I lifted the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea. Then I knew I can go to Real Madrid. At that moment, I knew,” Rudiger said.

When asked what sets Real Madrid apart from other teams, the defender said: “You see it first with the presentation. With all due respect to other clubs, but there you see the difference. Look at the presentation of Cristiano & Benzema. The trophy room, the history in that room… it’s overwhelming.”

Rudiger has previously spoken about the pressure that comes with playing for Real Madrid and how it can be tough to deal with at first. When asked how he manages to tackle it, the ex-Chelsea ace replied:

“For me, it’s very simple. Because Cristiano got criticized here, Benzema got criticized here, Luka Modrić, all of them. Who am I to not get criticized?”

When asked to choose between winning the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid and the UEFA Euro 2024 with Germany, Rudiger replied:

“Let me put it like this, the UCL is now, it could be in 3 months, so I’ll take the UCL. Then the EUROs are in 2024, so I’ll take the EUROs too (laughs).”

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid duo start for Spain against Luka Modric’s Croatia

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Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Spain will begin their UEFA Euro 2024 journey in a little over an hour with a clash against Croatia at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Ahead of the match, Luis de la Fuente has announced the starting lineup that will be taking the field for La Roja and two Real Madrid stars feature in the team.

Indeed, Los Blancos’ captain Nacho Fernandez gets the nod as one of the centre-backs amid some injury concerns for Spain.

Meanwhile, Dani Carvajal holds on to his usual place as the right-back for La Roja against Croatia.

There is no place in the starting lineup for Real Madrid forward Joselu, though, with De la Fuente preferring Alvaro Morata as his No. 9 instead.

Meanwhile, Croatia have also announced their starting lineup, and Real Madrid midfielder and legend Luka Modric starts in midfield and also captains the team against two of his club teammates today.

Former Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic also features for Croatia against Spain.

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