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Rudiger talks Vinicius Jr, Werner, first Real Madrid goal ahead of RB Leipzig clash



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid face RB Leipzig in their second UEFA Champions League 2022-23 group stage game. 

The record European champions, who are coming on the back of a 4-1 win over Mallorca, will want to make the best of Leipzig’s stuttering form this season while keeping in mind that Antonio Rudiger is gunning to make his first Champions League start for his new team.

Rudiger, who arrived from Chelsea on a free transfer, attended the pre-match press conference where he talked about several aspects. To begin with, the German international insisted that playing Champions League at Santiago Bernabeu is an absolute privilege.

“Playing Champions League at the Bernabeu is a privilege,” said the German (h/t SPORT). “It’s an honour for me and of course, I’m a bit nervous.”

Over the years, the former Roma man has developed a reputation of being a powerful presence at the heart of the defence. And referring to Neymar’s comments where the Brazilian said Rudiger is ‘scary’ and ‘strong’, he said,

“I don’t know what to say, I don’t know if I’m scaring someone. I want to be aggressive, but in a clean way. I’m not used to being sent off.”

The 29-year-old defender was one of the scorers during Real Madrid’s 4-1 win over Mallorca. Rudiger recorded a personal best five goals last season with Chelsea. When asked about his aim for this term, he said that he would love to at least match the tally.

“It’s one of my attributes, I like to attack and score goals. It’s a feeling I have inside of me and I imagine scoring as many goals as possible, especially if they’re important. Last year I scored five, I hope this will be more.”

“Scoring for Madrid is a great feeling, the crowd is great to contribute to the team. Leipzig are good on offence, they have a good rhythm, and they are intense. If I have to play, I hope the feeling of scoring again a goal can be repeated,” said the defender.

As Rudiger moved to Madrid in the summer transfer window, his ex-Chelsea teammate Timo Werner travelled back to Germany to rejoin RB Leipzig. The former teammates will square off against each other on Wednesday and when asked about the same, he added: 

“We have known each other for a long time, I love having him [Werner] on the pitch. This time he will be my rival and I will do everything to stop him.”

Arriving in Spain meant the German came to a foreign land, which means communication was always going to be an issue. When quizzed about it, Rudiger admitted that although his Spanish is a bit rough, he manages to explain himself to everyone.

“It’s very important to talk on the pitch to make life easier for us, before and during the match. It’s natural for me, I’ve always done it. I speak in Spanish and I think that, at the moment, everyone understands me,” he said.

“It’s not up to me who I’m going to play with, it’s not my responsibility. When I’ve played with Alaba or Militao, there hasn’t been any problem with the language. It’s normal that we speak Spanish, we’re in Spain. You don’t learn in two days, but knowing Italian helps me.”

“We are all normal people, from the outside you imagine what it would be like to be inside the locker room. The adaptation has been the easiest and most comfortable I have ever had, everyone is normal and respectful,” he added, talking about his adaptation.

Vinicius Jr was in the news following Madrid’s thrashing of Mallorca over the weekend. The young Brazilian suffered fouls after fouls as Mallorca players continued with their physical bombardment. 

When asked about the Brazilian’s approach, Rudiger explained that it comes as no surprise that the opponent always wants to hurt him.

“It’s what Vinicius does: haggling. It’s understandable that some want to hurt him, I’ve tried too. It’s one of his greatest qualities and you have to try to reduce it. You have to respect your rivals”

“I don’t have to talk about Vinicius’ qualities, he’s a great player. He’s calm in the dressing room, he likes to have fun playing and he does everything he can on the pitch. Having his collaboration makes us feel calmer,” he concluded.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid not worried about Bellingham’s knee injury, Dortmund asking for €150 million



Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

Heading into the 2023 summer transfer window, Real Madrid had one main priority on their minds – signing Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund amidst interest from several other parties involved.

With Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Liverpool also chasing his signature, Madrid knew it was going to take a lot more than just a €120 million offer and a blank cheque to convince Bellingham.

Eventually, it seems the player’s desire to join Madrid came through. He rejected advances from the Premier League, and eventually chose the defending Champions League winners as his next home.

There are certainly doubts with the transfer, though, as there would be, with any €120 million signing. With this transfer, it is Bellingham’s knee troubles. The Englishman might have to undergo surgery to treat his knee, and is also expected to miss England’s EURO 2024 qualifiers.

A knee surgery at the age of 19 would, and probably should be a scary prospect for any player and club. Real Madrid, though, are not worried, as per a report by SPORT1.

They want him to form a ‘royal midfield’ quadrant with Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, and Federico Valverde.

The transfer is expected to close next week, as Borussia Dortmund advanced negotiations with Real Madrid after losing the Bundesliga title on the final matchday.

The two club presidents, Hans-Joachim Watzke and Florentino Perez, have a ton of mutual respect for one another, and want the transfer to be closed promptly so both clubs can move forward with the rest of the transfer window.

For Dortmund, that means finding a replacement for Bellingham, and reinforcing their squad to challenge for the Bundesliga title next season. For Madrid, meanwhile, it would mean finding Karim Benzema’s replacement.

The final details of the transfer fee are still remaining, though, with Dortmund hoping to get nearly €150 million out of the deal.

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