Chelsea’s German defender, Antonio Rüdiger, has said he’s leaving the Blues with a heavy heart.
The 29-year-old arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2017 from Italian side, Roma and has made 132 appearances since then, scoring 9 goals.
Rüdiger who is of Sierra Leone descent, is set to join Real Madrid on a free after his contract expires by end of the season.
He said he hates goodbyes, “I don’t like goodbyes. But I will try to make this one special, from the heart.”
Rüdiger added: “I leave the club with a heavy heart. It has meant everything to me. Even this season, with all the complications, has been enjoyable. Football is football. We are blessed to play a game for a living that we would play for free anyway.”
He went on to praise his manager, “Thomas Tuchel is like my father, I know everyone says this, but it’s true. If I look back at my career, he’s definitely the best coach I’ve ever had and the relationship we have is a really good one. I am grateful for all he helped me achieve.”
Rüdiger added: “There was a chance [staying at Chelsea], but I can tell you the sanctions were not the problem.”
Rüdiger has already completed his medical tests two weeks ago and signed his contract until June 2026 as new Real Madrid player. Official announcement soon.
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