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Official: Antonio Rüdiger leaves Chelsea to join Real Madrid

Coming to an end

After five eventful and trophy-laden years with Chelsea, Antonio Rüdiger has today officially left the club for new challenges at Real Madrid as his club contract comes to an end.

Rüdiger signed for Chelsea in summer 2017 under the management of Antonio Conte and helped the Blues win the 2017-18 FA Cup. Under Maurizio Sarri, the German centre-back played an important part in the heart of defence to oversee a Europa League winning campaign. However the German saved his best phase of performances for a couple of seasons later as we went on to lift the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with the Blues under Thomas Tuchel — the man who gave him a new leash of life after being disillusioned under Frank Lampard's management.

Rüdiger bows out as arguably our best defender over the last 18 months, making 203 appearances over his entire tenure while scoring 12 goals. Among these, the 35-yard belter against Brentford earlier this season was a great reward after so many attempts!

Chelsea and Rüdiger reached an impasse over a contract renewal amid the club facing sanctions and a host of uncertainty. That lead to the German's decision to safeguard his future with the Spanish club.

All that said, we wish Rüdiger well in his future endeavours.