Germany defender Antonio Rudiger said, on Monday, that he encourages Real Madrid to beat Liverpool in the Champions League final last month because he is still suffering after losing the FA Cup and League Cup final with Chelsea against Merseyside.
Real Madrid scored three consecutive victories over Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in the knockout stage to reach the final, beating Liverpool 1-0 in Paris.
“I was really happy with Real Madrid’s victory,” Rudiger told a news conference when he was unveiled as a Real Madrid player.
The 29-year-old central defender has agreed to join La Liga and the European Champions on a four-year deal as a free agent as his contract with Chelsea expires at the end of the 2021-22 season.
“Real Madrid is about winning. That’s what it means to play at this club and I’m really looking forward to getting started.
“What they did last year in the Champions League was difficult to explain and put into words. It was unbelievable. They did it against all odds and doubts. ‘Really amazing,’” said Rudiger.
Rudiger, who was part of the Chelsea side knocked out in the quarter-finals by Real Madrid, said playing against a team that could become his future team is not a problem.
“At that time I wasn’t sure if I was going to Real Madrid, but it would be easy anyway because we are professionals and those contractual elements remain off the field,” said Rudiger.
“It was a very special and exciting match in the second leg, it was my first time playing at the Santiago Bernabeu. Everything was going well for our team but after we scored the third goal I was surprised that the atmosphere was still positive from the fans, it was very nice.”
Chelsea, who lost 3-1 in the first leg in west London, advanced 3-0 in the second leg but allowed Real to score twice late in the second half and advance to the semi-finals 5-4.
Rudiger has been a key player for Chelsea since joining from Roma in 2017, winning the FA Cup, Champions League, European League, European Super Cup and Club World Cup. He made 54 appearances in all competitions in his final season, all from the start, more than any other Chelsea player and exited with 203 appearances and 12 goals to his name.
Rudiger has made 50 appearances for Germany since his debut in 2014.