Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger has affirmed that he is absolutely fit at the moment and although he had a little bit of pain in his knee, he is going to be available for his side’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg tie against Chelsea.
It must be remembered that Rudiger had to pull out last minute ahead of Madrid’s 6-0 league win over Real Valladolid, but returned in time against Barcelona, although he remained an unused sub throughout the course of the game.
The German defender, however, returned to the starting XI against Villarreal and when asked about the status of his fitness, he said,
“Yes, everything is fine. It was a little pain in the knee, but I’m available,” the Madrid defender told Juan Ignacio Garcia-Ochoa while speaking for MARCA.
Real Madrid faced Chelsea in the quarter-final round of the UEFA Champions League last season as well. After having won the first leg 3-1, Chelsea marked a brilliant comeback in the return fixture (in a losing cause) and Rudiger, who was playing for the Blues last season, was the catalyst, having scored the equalizer for his side.
So when asked if he would want to score a goal at Stamford Bridge this season, he said, “It makes sense, I will try to do my best. But that is work for Benzema, Vinicius and Rodrygo. My thing is to defend.”
Additionally, speaking about what he thinks of Carlo Ancelotti’s job, the former Roma and Chelsea defender said that he would not want to be in the Italian’s shoes.
“I would not like to be in his position, but to me what this man is doing is incredible. I can only show respect towards him, I can’t say anything else. Ancelotti is the best.
“He comes from a completely different generation than us and he is still training and how he does it. It would be incredible to repeat what they did last season in the Champions League,” he added.
Rudiger also admitted that he wants the Italian to continue at Real Madrid for as long as possible amid speculations over his future.
“Yes, sure. It is a decision made by other people, but if in the end it is decided to continue with Ancelotti, we go with Ancelotti.”
Talking about the season so far for Real Madrid, he said: “In La Liga we have to continue, but it is not in our hands. But the rest is fine. We are in the Cup final after a spectacular comeback at Camp Nou and the Champions League is the big goal, of course. Once we’re in the quarterfinals…”
Opening up on his experience in the Real Madrid setup, Rudiger added: “In Madrid, in addition, you have to learn very quickly. In life you have to adapt to circumstances and understand things. And I have understood many things from here and since then I feel much more comfortable in the team.”
Real Madrid’s academy breakout star was close to signing for Atletico in the past – report
Nico Paz has burst onto the scene at Real Madrid after his recent heroics. The youngster was long hyped as Castilla’s brightest upcoming star, and his performances in recent games prove why.
Paz was the hero when Los Blancos took on Napoli earlier this week. Coming off the bench, he netted Real Madrid’s winning goal with six minutes left on the clock, thus scoring his first-ever goal with the first team.
Turning the clock back
As revealed in a recent update by AS, Paz’s arrival at Real Madrid was by no means a simple operation. It was made possible only through rigorous scanning and profiling done by the clubs scouts in Tenerife.
The youngster, at the time, was the crown jewel of the youth team in Tenerife. He was only 11 years old when the administration established contact with his father, back in April 2016.
It was only then that Real Madrid was made aware of Atletico Madrid’s strong interest in signing the player.
Los Rojiblancos had already made an important offer, and it was thus only Real Madrid’s timely intervention and negotiation that secured Paz’s signing.
An interesting clause
Paz’s entourage were naturally thrilled by the interest from Real Madrid and possible transfer. However, they had one clause that they insisted be met.
The Argentine ace’s entourage insisted that, as opposed to staying in the club facilities, Paz would reside with his family who would move to Madrid with the player. They value the family nucleus dearly and wished to keep the player in his comfort zone outside of training.
Needless to say, the green light soon arrived and Real Madrid won the race of Atletico Madrid. The rest, as they say, is history.