Real Madrid unveiled their new star defender on Monday as Antonio Rudiger donned the prestigious white jersey for the first time. During his presentation, the German international spoke extensively about his move to Spain.
He began his address by thanking his parents and the club, amongst others.
“I want to thank Florentino Perez and the club for giving me the chance to play here. I’ll give my everything to win many trophies. Hala Madrid!”
“At Real Madrid, the most important thing is to win and they have shown it in recent years. Being able to play for a club like this (Real Madrid) is unbelievable,” he added.
When asked what he would add to Los Blancos’ already star-studded squad, he said,
“It is normal for Real Madrid to have great players but I’m confident in myself. I will bring competitiveness.”
The Madrid-based club had been pursuing Rudiger’s signature for several months before the official announcement.
“Real Madrid’s first contacts with my agent were in September but I spoke with Ancelotti in April and then I made my choice,” Rudiger said.
A player’s influence on the team is not only on the field but also off it. Rudiger revealed that he possessed polarising personalities in both instances.
“Outside the pitch, I like to laugh and dance but on the pitch, I’m very serious.”
Pepe was Real Madrid’s standout centre-back for ten years from 2007 to 2017. Los Blancos’ new revealed named the Portuguese internal when asked who his favourite player was.
“If I had to choose a reference for defending, it would be Pepe.”
During his presentation on Monday, it was revealed that the centre-back would don the #22 on his jersey.
Rudiger explained why he did not take his #2, which he wore at Chelsea, saying, “I like number 2 but it’s Carvajal’s. But I didn’t think about it too much, I like the number 22.”
The race for the defender’s signing was between Barcelona and Real Madrid for a long time. Yet, he said that he did not even consider joining the Blaugranas at any stage.
“Barça were interested in me but I told my brother it’s Real Madrid or nothing.”
Real Madrid takes on Barcelona in pre-season this year. Rudiger shared his thoughts on an El Clasico debut and said,
“My El Clasico debut? Even though it’s pre-season, we want to win. I’m very excited.”
“14 Champions Leagues is something impressive. It teaches you what this club is all about, which is winning,” Rudiger continued on the topic of ‘winning’.
Finally, he closed the interview by saying that he knew about his transfer to Real Madrid well before the UCL final and added that he cheered for his new club.
“When the Champions League final was played I already knew I was going to join Madrid and I was cheering for them. I loved that they won.”
Source: Real Madrid Twitter
“Even Cristiano could not stand the training that he does” – Personal trainer praises Benzema
Karim Benzema will not be a part of the Real Madrid squad traveling to Morocco for the FIFA Club World Cup this week. He will remain in the Spanish capital in order to recover from the muscular injury he suffered during the game against Valencia.
In light of his injury, Benzema’s personal trainer Javier Atalaya spoke to the media (h/t Mundo Deportivo), confirming that the forward is getting better every day and is recovering well from the knock.
“We are calm with Benzema because it is not a serious injury. Karim is getting better every day. He is at home, having nothing to do, and he goes down to the gym to train,” Atalaya said. “The Frenchman’s mentality is to improve every day”.
Atalaya, who was also the personal trainer of Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at Real Madrid, added that some of Benzema’s training sessions even surpass that of Ronaldo.
“Even Cristiano could not stand the training that Benzema does,” said Atalaya, who has worked closely with a variety of top players across Europe.
Benzema, who has retired from international football following a row with the French national team during the World Cup, has had struggles with his fitness this season. He has missed a number of matches in La Liga, which has led to Real Madrid’s inconsistency in the league.
But Los Blancos will be hoping to have the Frenchman back as soon as possible, especially ahead of a crucial UEFA Champions League knockout round encounter against Liverpool.
In the meantime, Real Madrid will focus on the FIFA Club World Cup this week, with the European champions set to take on Al Ahly in the semifinal in Rabat this evening.
Rodrygo, who has recently professed his desire to win the Club World Cup, is expected to deputise for the injured Benzema in the coming matches.