Antonio Rüdiger owned all who dared enter his territory on in Saturday’s FA Cup triumph, athletically denying Alexis, Pogba, Lukaku, and the rest of Manchester United, and then, on occasion, surging forward with the ball to flip the field and take the pressure off, especially late in the game. He was named Man of the Match for his efforts, putting an extra special individual accolade on top of his first trophy win in his first season in the Premier League.
Since coming over from AS Roma in the summer, Rüdiger has not only won himself a starting spot in Conte’s back three — despite being viewed largely as a discount signing at first — he’s finished the season second only to César Azpilicueta in minutes played among center backs. His physical, uncompromising style (on the pitch and in interviews as well) has won him many admirers.
He’s also not a man to hog the limelight. When asked about his award after winning the FA Cup, he answered like a proper team man should.
“That is not important. The important thing is this, that we won a trophy. Like Eden said we didn’t play a good season but at the end we lifted a trophy and this is what is all about.
“It’s a tough opponent, quality players. I just tried to give 100% for my team, now it’s time to celebrate.”
-Antonio Rüdiger; source: BT Sport
There is one place however where Rüdiger wants the limelight, needs the limelight, lives for the limelight: the dance floor!
Take it away, Toni.
Sadly, no one’s joining in — where’s the rest of the Chelsea dance crew?? — so Rüdiger has to resort to some props to keep him company.
And of course we might remember when he first unveiled the first hints of his dancing skills to the rest of the Chelsea world, inspired by Man’s Not Hot, which was a thing for a while.
There’s been many good dancers in the Chelsea dressing room over the years — Didier, Essien, David Luiz come to mind, among others — and many good opportunities for them to show off. Hopefully Rüdiger continues that fine tradition long into the future.