Rüdiger justifies his departure with a burden on the management

In an open letter published in The Players’ Tribune, Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger bid farewell to the London club, detailing his arrival and departure in particular. The Germany international will release the Blues and points to a lack of interest from the Chelsea board in his extension.

Antonio Rudiger expressed his feelings in a lengthy open letter to Chelsea fans, published on The Players’ Tribune. He describes discovering N’Golo Kanté on arrival, the strong bond that links him with some of the dressing rooms, the Champions League win over City but also the slump when Lampard was on the bench and his free one Start at the end of the season.

“We’re not robots, you know?”

The centre-back, who recalls that his departure comes while Chelsea’s sale is still pending and that he had no certainty about an extension, nonetheless regrets the club’s lack of consideration. “Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already become difficult last autumn,” he recalls. “Business is business, but if you don’t have any news from the club from August to January, the situation becomes complicated.” After the first offer, there was a long period of silence. We’re not robots, you know? You can’t wait months with so much uncertainty about your future.”

“Of course nobody saw the sanctions coming, but in the end other big clubs showed interest and I had to make a decision,” explains Antonio Rudiger, who could take over management of Real Madrid at the end of the season. I’ll leave it at that because apart from business, I have nothing bad to say about this club.”

“That was the most difficult time of my career”

The Germany international also returned to last season, where he was shelved at the start of practice by Franck Lampard, before eventually starting in the Champions League final when Thomas Tuchel ended up on the Blues touchline. “Obviously it’s been a crazy season for me. I hate to say ‘crazy’ but what other word could I use? I wasn’t even on the ground six months before this final,” he recalls.

“I was kicked out of the team at the time and I couldn’t even figure out why. We had a meeting one day and the manager told me that we had a great team and that he preferred others over me. Boom – it was over. After that there were many rumours. I got a lot of insults on social media. It was the hardest time of my life. career and I kept quiet because I didn’t want to cause problems for the club.”

“When Tuchel came as a coach, it was a new life for me”

After that time, he tells how the appointment of Thomas Tuchel changed his life: “When Tuchel came as a coach and gave me a chance, it was a new life for me. In fact, he immediately did something that I think many managers could learn from. It had nothing to do with tactics. He just came up to me and said: ‘Toni, tell me about yourself’.”

Rüdiger says his aggressiveness and hunger came from growing up in Berlin-Neukölln: “I played so hard on the concrete pitches that all the older kids started calling me ‘Rambo’.” I was so motivated that I would never go back to the bench, he wrote. I had made the decision to give myself 200 percent for this club, for this coat of arms – despite everything that was said about me. For me, after everything I’ve been through, the Champions League was just the icing on the cake.”

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