LONDON, UK, June 2 – Antonio Rudiger is eager to start at Real Madrid after his free transfer to the European champions was confirmed.
The 29-year-old turned down a lucrative new contract to stay at Chelsea, opting instead to join the Spanish side on a four-year contract.
He leaves Stamford Bridge after five years, during which he won the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
Rudiger, who joined Roma in 2017, said on Instagram: “I’m proud to announce that I will be joining @RealMadrid. I’m super excited for all the challenges ahead and can’t wait to play my first games for this huge club.
Chelsea have also confirmed the Germany international’s departure, adding in a statement: “We bid farewell to Antonio Rudiger as he leaves Stamford Bridge with the expiration of his contract with Chelsea, ending his fulfilling five years. trophies with the club.
“The German defender left the Blues to join Real Madrid, having played a huge role in our successes in recent seasons. Rudiger won the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup with Chelsea playing a crucial role in all those triumphs at the heart of our defence.
“The 29-year-old was also an important figure in the dressing room with his leadership and passion, while his dedication and desire to win never wavered, even when it became clear he would be leaving the club this summer.
“Chelsea Football Club thanks Toni for his contribution to our success over the past five years and wishes him well in his future career.”
Real Madrid, who knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League as they came close to winning it, said Rudiger would be revealed on June 20.
A club statement read: “Real Madrid CF have reached an agreement to sign Antonio Rudiger, who joins the club on a four-year contract.
“Rudiger will be unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Monday, June 20 at 12:00 (CET) at Real Madrid City.
“After his unveiling, he will address the media.”
Rudiger was an integral part of the Chelsea squad last season, making 54 appearances in all competitions – more than any other player – and ended his Blues career with 203 games to his name.
The Germany international recently revealed how Chelsea’s stall on a new deal at the end of 2021 helped him decide his future elsewhere – before the club were hit with government sanctions.
“Unfortunately my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall,” Rudiger told the Players’ Tribune.
“Business is business, but when you don’t hear from the club from August to January, things get complicated.
“After the first offer, there was a long gap of nothing. We are not robots, you know? You can’t wait months with so much uncertainty about your future.
“Obviously nobody saw the sanctions coming, but in the end other big clubs showed interest and I had to make a decision. have nothing bad to say about this club. Chelsea will always remain in my heart. London will always be my home. I came here alone and now I have a wife and two beautiful children.