Rüdiger: “Real Madrid wasn’t a dream, it was a fantasy”

Antonio Rüdiger sat down with Sport1 for an interview where he shared his thoughts about his first few months in the Spanish capital, his teammates, Carlo Ancelotti and more.

Here’s his interview in full:

Signing for Real Madrid

“I can’t say that it’s a dream come true, it’s a fantasy, something that was not within my reach. It was always my dream to play in the Premier League, Real Madrid was a fantasy, something bigger that I didn’t think was possible. I realised that after I moved, it was when I couldn’t believe it, it was a brutal feeling. I never thought I would live something like this.”

First few months in Madrid

“My first few months in Madrid couldn’t have been better, I agree. The results were good, we’re having fun as a team and I adapted well. If I’m being honest, no other team made it so easy for me to fit right in.”

Nickname in the dressing room

“Yeah, Toni was already picked since that’s what everyone calls Toni Kroos. The coaching staff call me Antonio and my teammates call me Rudi. Needless to say, they’ve all realised that I’m a completely crazy guy.”

Role model

“I have to think about Pepe, he was my role model when he was a Real Madrid player, I always wanted to be like him. I used to watch videos of him, I was young and wanted to prove to everyone that I could be a tough guy too. Pepe was ridiculously good, not only in duels but also in the structure of the game. Now everyone tells me that he was really calm outside the field, and guess what? He was the only player I waited for an hour to get his jersey. Pepe, Sergio Ramos and Thiago Silva are the three jerseys I’m more proud of having. True legends!”

Relationship with Alaba and Militao

“I’ve known David for many years now, same with Toni, Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard. He helped me a lot when I came here, with him we have a three-time Champions League winner with a lot of experience and with Militao we have a younger player who has already accomplished a lot, when I look at him I see myself when I was 24 years old, we defend in the same way.”

Player that surprised him the most

“Toni Kroos. We always got along well and with respect in the national team, but only exchanged a few words here and there, maybe we didn’t have enough time. I’ve met another Toni Kroos in Madrid. He talks really good Spanish, is very open and friendly and also very helpful. He helped me with the language since day 1 and offered his help in other things, he’s a very calm guy.”

Carlo Ancelotti

“I had been in our new house in Madrid for just a few hours with my family. We were having a barbecue and then the bell rang. I opened the door and Ancelotti was there! Wow! He sat with us, had lunch with us and met my family, he’s a very friendly and open man. He stayed with us for two hours, we talked about everything. I’ll be honest, I had never experienced anything like that with other coaches. After just these first few months I have to say that nobody comes close to Ancelotti when it comes to how he treats players. He’s a coaching legend who collected Champions League trophies when I was just a kid. Working with him every day in the world’s biggest club is just wonderful.”

Move from Chelsea

“There were only two options for me: either I stay at Chelsea or I go to Real. Germany was not a serious prospect. At the end of April, it [a move to Real Madrid] became really concrete. But before everything was clear, my brother fooled me a bit. We played with Chelsea against Real in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. After the first-leg defeat, he suddenly said to me: ‘Toni, I don’t know if this will still work. In the second leg, you have to show everything so that the change works.’ My head was shattered, but that spurred me on.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *