In the end came the call they weren’t expecting at all. FC Bayern was on the phone and wanted to know what things are like with Antonio Rudiger and the future. Bayern Munich had just been knocked out by a team called Villarreal in the Champions League and they seemed to think it was a good idea to explore some options that were previously not worth exploring. They only heard from Antonio Rüdiger that he was allegedly calling ridiculous salary numbers – so they kept in touch across the corner, but didn’t push matters.
Antonio Rudiger, 29, is a passionate man who sometimes tends to ecstasy, but he wasn’t overwhelmed with enthusiasm when the big Bayern Munich suddenly asked him about him after the Villarreal game. Bayern and their sports team president Hasan Salihamidzic received a sober message from Rudiger’s representatives that the player has already set an appointment with Real Madrid and that the change is “95 percent” complete. Then Munich closed again.
The German national team has played two matches in the current Nations League competition, and a more diverse series of tests is still running, but observers have already agreed on one thing after the matches in Italy (1:1) and against England (1:1): national coach Hansi Flick will build his team In the World Cup on a pivot it starts with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, continues with defender Antonio Rudiger and ends with midfielders Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Muller for the time being. It would have been quite a Bavarian hub. Defense chief Antonio Rudiger will play for Real Madrid in the future.
At that time, Pep Guardiola shouted angrily: Stop Rudiger!
The astonishing thing about this case is not only that Munich only took an interest in the Free International Germany when it was too late. It is also astonishing how naturally Antonio Rudiger is now treated as one of the world’s leading defense experts. It’s been a long way, Rüdiger comes from afar. It came from a time when they had discussed it at Bayern before, and the head of the sport was still called Matthias Sammer. After that, Pep Guardiola, the coach in charge, sent some videos sent to him by the Stuttgart defender, who was still very young at the time, and there are people who remember well how angry Guardiola then ran into the corridors. “Stop Rudiger!” If he calls, finish this diversion project immediately!
So you could say FC Bayern were too early and too late with Antonio Rudiger.
Rüdiger has used the intervening years in an almost perfect career. Typical, because his playing style at times seemed unruly and edgy, but his career did not have any amazing rashes. Antonio Rudiger didn’t get better all of a sudden overnight and then came back again. Head up head-to-head, enter-through-intervention, training session after training session and station after station. Italian coaches in Rome and Chelsea taught him the art of Italian defense, and the nature of his game sometimes diminished to the point that his passion no longer interfered with disciplined defense. Then Thomas Tuchel, his favorite coach, developed him into a constant contender at Chelsea FC.
Rudiger is “too hot” for the upcoming World Cup, says his longtime companion, and he is constantly talking about this tournament. There were times when Rüdiger’s flammability was a mystery fun for his coaches and teammates, because at such moments they didn’t know exactly whether his commitment would suddenly turn into an overcommitted and he would lose the ball in abundance. But his accomplishments – winning the Champions League with Chelsea, appreciating Tuchel and the public – have rid his game of the biggest pressure to justify himself. Rüdiger now knows he can allow himself to make a mistake without being immediately questioned, and since he knows he has made almost no mistakes.
For Flick, Rudiger is in the DFB team as Alaba was for him at Bayern Munich
In the national team, the only question now is who will defend alongside Rudiger, whether it is Niklas Sule, Nico Schlutterbeek or both, his place is safe even after a change of coach. Jogi Löw was already a big fan of Rüdiger, he saw the player’s potential when you almost had to justify being a Rüdiger fan. Rüdiger is grateful to Löw to this day as he continued to offer his support on regular phone calls when Rüdiger was sitting in the stands with former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard. Rüdiger regretted Löw’s departure, but was compensated with a successor who sees and hears the game in a similar way. Hansi Flick and Antonio Rudiger get along well because football is a great communication game for both of them.
At the moment, one of the national coaches is proud to recommend taking a closer look at Rudiger’s game. He subjected Flick Rudiger to the same treatment he gave David Alaba at Bayern Munich. He promoted his player to a manager and granted a kind of power of attorney on the field. Encouraged and asked to be boisterous and direct his teammates, now Flick is thrilled when he sees his defensive boss pointing and coaching. Rüdiger always wanted it, he thinks silent self-defense is horrible. But for many years he had found it inappropriate to mark his boss. Now he dares. Now he is literally coming out of the hood.
Thomas Tuchel would have liked to see him continue playing at Chelsea, but due to the unclear ownership status following Roman Abramovich’s departure, the club was unable to offer him a new offer. Real Madrid really wanted him, the name of the club alone made Rudiger as excited as the upcoming World Cup. After a phone call with coach Carlo Ancelotti, he quickly realized that he wanted to do it and things could go uphill in Real Madrid’s defence. Antonio Rudiger will defend there alongside David Alaba.