|Desc||Centre-backs aren’t normally the players who do the most sprinting on a team, so it’s a little surprising that Antonio Rudiger sits at the top of Chelsea’s list – particularly with pace further forward in Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system in the form of N’Golo Kante, Willian and Pedro Rodriguez. That said, Rudiger’s speed across the ground was a key reason why the Premier League champions identified him as a good complement to their existing defensive options|
|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Chelsea FC|
2019 12 11 Retrieve
[Antonio Rudiger is ready to take on a leadership role in a young Chelsea side] I see myself as helping them, as always. As I did in the other years in the team when I played with David Luiz or Gary Cahill … I am loud on the pitch. Especially with the young guys because you need to help them.
There will be a period – that is normal because we are all human – that you will fall a bit, the performances will go down. But there especially you need to – and me as the most experienced in the back – need to help those young guys. I’m in for that.
In my position, it is very important to speak, to be loud because I have the whole pitch in front of me and this has always been natural to me. I always have, even when I was young, been commanding. I don’t read too much [about fans wanting me back]. That’s why I don’t really feel the pressure. But it’s also good if the people want me back and of course, there is a little bit of pressure. It’s good in football when you have a little bit of pressure because then you are ready to perform. At the moment, we have to take every game step by step. We are in the top four and we are five points ahead of the fifth-place team. We are in a good position but we need to be aware of performances like Everton and West Ham
Nervous? Not at all. It’s not the first time I’ve been injured for a long time. The first time at Chelsea for a long time, but other clubs no. I always came back very good, that’s what I do. I had the operation, the surgery. You listen to the doctor who did the surgery and you have to be patient and just wait for your time. That’s what I did. It is normal, I want to play, but I am not 19 anymore. I deal with that differently. If you are on crutches, then you can’t do anything so you just have to be patient and wait. The coach let me have a little pre-season. It was for two and a half, almost three weeks. I really thank him. It was good for the legs but not for the heart so it was a really good idea from him. It feels good. It’s been a long time, it’s been a while now, but I’m very happy that everything went well and we are in the round of 16. I’m very happy. I missed everything as well. It was a good match for both sides. That is why you play football. I have to say thank you to everyone - the backroom staff, the coaches for their patience, and also the fans for their patience
I hope soon [I will be at my best]! Of course, it makes a difference after a long time injured. You need some games to come into but if the coach has the intention to let me play then I will never say no if the coach needs me. I have to be honest with him as well if I feel all right. Of course, I would do it anytime
2019 12 22 Retrieve
[Rudiger sends message to racists following alleged abuse at Tottenham Stadium] Racist behaviour from spectators is interfering with the game
2019 12 24 Retrieve
[Perry Groves holocaust comment compounded a poor weekend for the Premier League with Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Tottenham overshadowed by alleged racism aimed towards Blues defender Antonio Rudiger] It is really sad to see racism again at a football match, but I think it’s very important to talk about it in public. If not, it will be forgotten again in a couple of days (as always). I don’t want to involve Tottenham as an entire club into this situation as I know that just a couple of idiots were the offenders. I got a lot of supportive messages on social media from Spurs fans as well in the last hours - thank you a lot for this. I really hope that the offenders will be found and punished soon, and in such a modern football ground like the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with dozens of TV and security cameras, it must be possible to find and subsequently punish them. If not, then there must have been witnesses in the stadium who saw and heard the incident. It’s just such a shame that racism still exists in 2019. When will this nonsense stop?
2020 01 09 Retrieve
[Antonio Rudiger admits Callum Hudson-Odoi asked about Bayern Munich when talk of a move to Germany started to build] Of course he asked me about Bayern Munich back then. I told him that it was of course a great club. The fact that he chose Chelsea is only logical for me. The transfer ban and the departure of Eden Hazard, which we had been expecting for a long time, made it clear that Callum would get more appearances
[Rudiger says of the challenge Chelsea have against Bayern Munich in the last-16] Bayern have dominated the Bundesliga in recent years, this season it looks a little different - and that could also be our chance. Although we have had a year of upheaval this season, we have shown, for example in the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool or at the end of November against Manchester City, that we can be on par with top teams
[Rudiger will have a vital role to play against Bayern if selected by Frank Lampard] For me Mauro Icardi, Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski are the best No.9s in recent years. Lewandowski seems to have got even better this season. I have great respect for him. It will be a difficult challenge to survive against him. We can only solve that problem through collective effort
2020 01 11 Retrieve
[Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger talks ahead of their Round of 16 clash with Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League] For me Mauro Icardi, Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski are the best No9s in recent years. Lewandowski seems to have gotten better this season
2020 02 23 Retrieve
[Antonio Rudiger on a run of five league games without a win ahead of their Champions League clash against Bayern Munich] It didn’t get to that stage – luckily! Olivier Giroud was always professional. He didn’t open his mouth and he didn’t say anything. We all knew there were rumours but even he was very quiet and just did his work as a professional. That’s what I always say. Everyone is always important and, as the manager said, he always behaved well. That’s why I give massive respect to him. He was always patient, he never said anything, even when his transfer didn’t go through.
He remained humble and worked hard on the pitch. And there was also a difference when he came on against United. Today he had a big impact on the team so I really have to say thank you very much. I’ve known him and been playing with him for two-and-a-half years. He is a team player. He always puts himself on the line. He is not only about scoring. Of course, he is a striker and he scores, he scored today and thank you for that, but he is always putting in the hard work and that is why I am very pleased
2020 02 23b Retrieve
[New father Rudiger wants to protect his son from ‘stupidity’ of racism] I’m not trying to offend but you [white] people will never understand what goes through my mind in this moment, or other black players’ minds, I am alone. I am totally alone.
It’s nice if people are speaking up for me but at the end of the day, it just replays. Authority wise I’m alone. I heard about it [being booed]. It’s sad. I don’t know why they would. Maybe it’s because I voiced about the racism.
If you boo me because of that then you are poor people. I am sorry. This is a sign that we have a very big problem. At the end of the day, I am alone in this case because I am the one who has to swallow this. With the win it makes me feel like a bit like, yes OK, but it makes me feel like it will always be like this. For me, in this case, racism won. I’m very careful with this. I’m not in the investigations. I’m not a police officer. I just hope always people do their job right. But nothing happened and, to be honest, it was not a surprise. For me, it was not a surprise, because they always get away with it. Not always, sometimes they get punished, but mostly they get away with it.
The support from my club was there. Also players and everything. For me this was not enough. These people need to be punished. They need educating. It’s a lack of education, simple. We all, even including you, we all failed in this. Because if people are really honest, we have so many people coming into the stadium and in that game when it happened against me, Chelsea fans got arrested and why, because Chelsea fans reported the other Chelsea fans who abused [Heung-min] Son.
So on the other side, nothing happened. It’s the people who were around. And that’s why I say if we don’t stand up, racism won. I will always stand up. It’s not only about myself. It can be homophobic or something like that. It’s about standing up for people. I think this is normal. I’m not hurting anyone. I’m not killing anyone. I will always stand up for other people. I will not leave anyone like this
[Only last week, Porto striker Moussa Marega walked off the pitch in protest after being subjected to racist abuse away at Vitoria Guimaraes] There you see, he wants to leave the pitch and his team-mates try to stop him. And there it was clear, everyone heard it. And his own team-mates held him back to stay on the pitch. He was alone. And he was booked for going out because he was racially abused. It’s simple; we are alone in this. We have to deal with it in our way. Walking off the pitch doesn’t make sense if they still don’t get punished. Does it make sense to walk off the pitch? I don’t think so.
As a consequence? This is not a consequence because the consequence maybe I am again the bogeyman. What point is it if I leave the pitch and no-one gets punished? At the end, how people write stuff, I will be the booed man again. If there is no punishment for these people, racism won. That’s how I see it
Definitely. 100% [the best week of my life]. And to win a derby, it is even better. A very good week. This week was a week with ups and downs. But more ups, especially for me because of the birth of my son – the first birth. It was tough days for me but with this win I am very happy. I’m very tired right now. I’m happy. Now I’m going to the hospital and finally, he comes home. It’s very tough but with this game, I’m very happy. Firstborn child. I have never experienced this type of emotion or what was going on in my head
[Now the 26-year-old is a father, he is keen to see his son grow up in a less toxic world] Of course because if it happens at football, it is also happening outside and outside my son is going to be growing up. I will try to do my best. I will do my best to make sure my son is not stupid like other people. Sorry for this word, I don’t have any other words for this
2020 02 23c Retrieve
[Rudiger reacts to Tottenham boos: Racism has won] Racism has won. It shows that these people won because they can go back to the stadium. They won’t be punished and at the end of the day I’m the bogeyman. It is not that I give up or no longer raise my voice. I will always raise my voice, but I am alone in this regard
Everyone should look at their own house, because when I was racially insulted in Italy, I always heard: ‘In Italy this is normal.’ Everyone should start with themselves at home and then talk about others. No country has anything under control. There is support, but words and deeds are different. At the end of the day anyone can say: ‘I’m sorry!’ But only those who share the same fate as me can understand. I could make an Instagram or Twitter post but what good would that do? At the end of the day you are alone
2020 02 24 Retrieve
[Antonio Rudiger says Giroud didn’t moan about missing out on a move] I give massive respect to him. He was always patient, he never said anything, even when his transfer didn’t go through. He remained humble and worked hard. And there was also a difference when he came on against United. On Saturday he had a big impact. He is a team player and he always puts himself on the line. He is not only about scoring - he is always putting in the hard work and that is why I am very pleased
Saturday was very important for us, we knew that. When you create and defend, I think you need to be more aggressive and have more belief. On Saturday we were helping each other and that is very important. We need to keep doing this. [We need to] fight, run, hurt. We need to believe in ourselves on the ball. When we have to defend we have to defend together and that is it, that is what it takes to win big games. To be careful, to be focused on some details because in big games it is like this. There are two games [against Bayern], so we can’t lose our mind and go crazy if something goes wrong. We need to be quiet, be smart for that
2020 02 24b Retrieve
[Antonio Rudiger says Chelsea missing Lewandowski-like killer instinct] We sometimes miss the killer instinct that Lewandowski has, for example. Just the greed for more, this greed in front of the goal. Lewandowski is 31 years old and is still hungry for goals
We have weakened recently with opposing standards and counterattacks, we have to work on that
2020 03 07 Retrieve
[Rudiger opens up on Tottenham racism allegations: I felt like a monkey] I ask myself: ‘How is it possible that nobody of the 60,000 people in this stadium realised anything about it?’ So, I stand there [accused] as a liar. I have the feeling that I’m expected to shut my mouth. But I have a message: I won’t do that. I felt as if I wasn’t a human being, but an animal. A monkey. I think if you haven’t lived such situations you can’t imagine how I felt. Against Tottenham I felt incredibly lonely
[Rudiger also revealed that Tottenham striker Harry Kane apologised to him after the game] I said [to Kane]: ‘It’s absolutely not your fault, you don’t have to apologise.’ But he wanted to do it as a sign that his club doesn’t think like that. That was good for me [to hear]
[Commenting on the frequent cases of racism that are blighting society in general] The news shocks me. I just cannot understand that racism still exists today
2020 03 24 Retrieve
[Chelsea defender Rudiger focused on slowing coronavirus spread] My biggest wish right now is that today’s new infection numbers are again lower than yesterday. But not that the Premier League immediately resumes. Football has no priority right now. It’s only about slowing down the spread of the virus. We will see where we are with the number of infections by mid or late April. And then we’ll have a better position to make a decision. And it won’t be possible to make a decision which satisfies all sides. If it’s about the health of each and every one we will understand it and comply with it
2020 04 08 Retrieve
[Rudiger reveals how Fabregas guided shirt swap with Messi] I have Lionel Messi’s shirt from when we played Barcelona in the Champions League a couple of years ago. It was a big honour for me to play against a player like him so I just asked him after the game when we shook hands. I thought for sure he doesn’t want mine but then Cesc Fabregas was nearby and he said ‘give him your shirt, he wants your shirt too!’.
My first football shirt? It was a shirt I made for myself. My parents didn’t have so much money to buy me one so I made one for myself - it was number nine, George Weah. It was just a white t-shirt and I wrote the number nine and his name on the back
[Rudiger continued to admit that while he is happy with his level of English, certain team-mates can be difficult to understand] I understand most things but Ross Barkley’s English I don’t understand! And also Billy Gilmour – his Scottish accent is very difficult. The last word I learned? There is a lot but the last one was rapid. For me, you say the guy is quick but Danny Drinkwater said to me ‘this guy is rapid’ and I didn’t know what that meant. I made sense when I thought about it but I never had it in my vocabulary before
2020 04 11 Retrieve
[Chelsea defender Toni Rudiger on the first football kit he ever wore] It was a shirt I made for myself. My parents didn’t have so much money to buy me one so I made one for myself - it was number nine, George Weah. It was just a white t-shirt and I wrote the number nine and his name on the back
2020 04 21 Retrieve
[Antonio Rudiger has agreed to cover three months of costs for catering for the nurses in the Berlin Charité hospital in Berlin where he was born in 1993] My biggest wish right now is that today’s new infection numbers are again lower than yesterday. But not that the Premier League immediately resumes. Football has no priority right now. It’s only about slowing down the spread of the virus
2020 04 23 Tweet
[Current coronavirus figures from the west African state show that there are 61 confirmed cases with six having recovered but there are likely many more instances which haven’t been reported] I am pleased to announce that my Foundation Antonio Rüdiger For Sierra Leone will be partnering with @madam_wokie and @LunchBoxGift to provide 60,000 face masks to low income market traders in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This will hopefully reduce the spread of Covid19
2020 05 09 Retrieve
[Can football ever be free of racism?] In this case, racism won. I’m very careful with this. I’m not in the investigations and I’m not a police officer. I just hope always people do their job right. But nothing happened and, to be honest, it was not a surprise. For me, it was not a surprise, because they always get away with it. Not always, sometimes they get punished, but mostly they get away with it. The support from my club and players was there. For me, this was not enough. These people need to be punished. They need educating. It’s a lack of education, simple. We all failed in this
If we’re seeing a rise in hate crime, the Home Office is seeing a rise in hate crime and other bodies are seeing a rise in hate crime. It’s all linked because that’s what is going on in society at the moment. If it’s there, we’ll see it in football. In some of the cases we have seen, there is a real hatred there which we haven’t maybe seen as much of in the past. It’s really violent and very targeted, particularly on social media. Some of the social media reports we’ve seen you wouldn’t want anyone to see. We’re talking to people all the time that feel, post-Brexit, that ‘maybe this country isn’t for me.’ [Politicians] have to take that responsibility very seriously, they are the leaders of the country and they need to set the tone. Society is reflected in football
2020 06 22 Retrieve
[Antonio Rudiger says he played a part in convincing Timo Werner to come to Chelsea and compared the newly-signed striker to Leicester City star Jamie Vardy] I did speak to him before because we have known each other for a long time. We spoke a lot during the lockdown and he told me he was interested in coming to England. Of course then I did my bit, what I had to do. Like everyone, I’m very excited that he’s chosen Chelsea and I’m looking forward to working with him. I’ve known him since he was 17 and he did very good in the past few years. He can be very important for us
He’s a really big threat to defenders. RB Leipzig is a more counter-attacking team but in terms of attacking the defensive line, he’s similar to Vardy. He has a lot of pace and if the defender makes a mistake and loses the ball, then he goes! His development was just ‘wow’. In his first season everything was new for him in men’s football but then he started scoring more goals and of course with that comes confidence. He had very good coaches who believed in him and worked with him
2020 06 24 Retrieve
[Antonio Rudiger says he will be in trouble with Chelsea if Timo Werner fails to perform after adopting an agent role] Chelsea asked me for an assessment. I have known Timo for a long time. I made a clear recommendation to do everything possible to get him. From the next season on he will have to deliver, otherwise I will get trouble from the club afterwards
Although he [Werner] is not a classic penalty area striker, he has a certain robustness well suited to the toughness of English football. Counterattacking may have been more difficult for him at Bayern Munich or with a top Italian team, who are always dealing with opponents who sit very deep. Even outside the group of top clubs, many teams try to play positive and attacking football against us. This will give him the space he needs and hopefully he can use it as much as he did at Leipzig.