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Rudiger says facing Real Madrid in UCL can be daunting for rivals: “See fear in the faces”



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

It is a special week for Antonio Rudiger. The centre-back made the move from Chelsea to Real Madrid on a free transfer last summer and now sees the two teams battle it out in the quarterfinal of the UEFA Champions League.

The 30-year-old has made 24 league appearances so far for the club in his first season and is a regular starter under Carlo Ancelotti. He is thus expected to play a part in the midweek clash against his former club at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The German international spoke to MARCA ahead of Wednesday’s game about a plethora of topics including his time at Chelsea, his spell so far at Real Madrid and the Champions League. Here are the snippets from his interview.

The defender began his interview with a description of the pressure teams feel in the UEFA Champions League, especially when they are faced against record-winners Real Madrid.

“You can see the fear in the faces of your rivals in the Champions League,” Rudiger said.

Yet, that does not go on to say that the honoured white colours reduce the pressure on those who don it. Rudiger revealed that, at Real Madrid, there was never a moment without such pressure.

“In Madrid, you’re under pressure even when you take the car to go to training,” he added.

The centre-back has played for four clubs in four different countries in Stuttgart, Roma, Chelsea, and now Real Madrid. He then compared the difficulty of his various spells and names his current task to be the most challenging.

“Defending at Real Madrid is much harder than at other clubs,” the German international stated.

A footballer’s form has its usual ups and downs. Consistency is a myth in that respect, for it is impossible to play at the same level with no slip-ups. Rudiger accepted the same but added that his commitment was constant.

“There are days where I will play badly but people can see that I give my everything,” he admitted.

The German has become a regular starter in just his first season at the club and is a visible leader on the field. When asked to evaluate his spell so far, he replied: “My first 9 months? I couldn’t be happier. Everything is perfect here.”

Finally, he touched upon the topic of the impending UEFA Champions League clash between Los Blancos and his former club saying that he expected a tough clash.

“The Chelsea team I played for is nothing like the current Chelsea team. But what is clear to me is that the match will be tough, they have plenty of quality players,” Rudiger stated.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid winger has two future destinations on table for next season



Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid set out on a mission to change the minds of Dani Ceballos, Marco Asensio and Nacho Fernandez earlier this week. After all, all three players were contemplating a departure from the club for a gross lack of minutes.

Los Blancos’ latest approach seems to have impacted Ceballos’ position in a positive fashion. However, Fabrizio Romano reveals that it has not changed Marco Asensio’s mind.

According to the Italian journalist, the Spaniard will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season as a free agent.

Of the numerous options on his table, he sees Aston Villa and PSG to be the best bets. In fact, Villa have already submitted their opening bid for the player as revealed by Fabrizio Romano once again.

After a dramatic final day of action in the Premier League, Aston Villa finished in the European spots and will participate in the UEFA Conference League next season. While a move to the English club would be a steep step down, it will see Asensio receive regular playing time.

Paris-Saint Germain, on that front, appears the more probable destination. The French club are close to losing both Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr ahead of the new season, and Asensio would thus fit in as a starting quality winger. Moreover, they offer Champions League football.

The Spaniard’s role at Real Madrid this season has not been minor by any means considering his contributions. In 30 La Liga appearances, the 27-year-old has scored nine goals and provided six assists in addition to creating nine big chances and averaging 1.4 key passes per game.

However, that does not satisfy the winger who wishes to be a starter week in and week out. His departure in June appears to be now written in stone, and the club should feel hard done to not make a penny of his move.

Many in Los Blancos’ administration see Brahim Diaz as a direct replacement for the Spanish international if he leaves. Needless to say, the AC Milan star’s future will closely depend on Asensio’s situation.

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