Antonio Rüdiger was unveiled as a Real Madrid player yesterday, going through the usual rigamarole of the official presentation, including the keepie-uppies and the fancy dress interview.
As part of that process, he confirmed the timeline that eventually led him to choosing the current European champions over the previous European champions. At the start of last season, it looked like he was already gone. Then, in January, it looked like he actually might stay and extend after all. But then by late April, we knew that wasn’t happening for sure.
“The first time I contacted them – not really myself but my agent – was in September of last year. The second time was me speaking directly with Ancelotti in April. That was the most important moment. It was there that I took the decision to play for this club with Mr Ancelotti.”
-Antonio Rüdiger; source: Guardian
One eyebrow raise is all it took! Though it’s a bit ironic that Toni would make his choice based on a manager when part of the reason he was leaving Chelsea was managerial instability. Real Madrid’s just as synonymous with that as we are — and as practically all other top flight clubs are, in fairness.
I suppose the hefty raise in wages was helpful, too, plus the usual cachet thing with Real.
But, what’s done is done and while replacing Rüdiger will not be easy, it certainly won’t be impossible.