Outgoing Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has penned a touching farewell message to Blues fans on social media ahead of his lucrative summer transfer to Real Madrid
Image: Clive Rose)
Antonio Rudiger has taken to social media to say goodbye to Chelsea fans ahead of his summer switch to Real Madrid.
The Blues were desperate to hold on to the German defender, who has evolved into a pivotal player for the Blues under the guidance of Thomas Tuchel. But the Londoners were unable to come to terms on agreement with the 29-year-old – who claimed last week that talks over a new deal went silent for five months.
Rudiger has reportedly penned a pre-contract agreement with Real to join the Spanish giants when his contract at Stamford Bridge officially expires at the end of this month. The powerful centre-half turned out for the one last time during Sunday’s 2-1 win over Watford before he penned a touching farewell message on social media.
The former Roma man posted: “This club will always remain special to me. Thank you, @ChelseaFC #Hustle #AlwaysBelieve”.
After finally breaking his silence on his proposed summer exit from Stamford Bridge, Rudiger had revealed last week that he was leaving London with a heavy heart and that he had to consider his future after the long lull in negotiations with the club. He was also adamant that the sanctions placed on Roman Abramovich – which restricted the club from partaking in any contract negotiations – were not a factor in his departure.
Speaking to The Players Tribune, Rudiger said: “I leave this 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. In fact, when the financial restrictions were being rumored, we were all laughing about having to take a bus or a smaller plane or whatever to the matches. I mean, a small plane? Oh no!!! What am I going to do? Come on.
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“Do you know where I come from? A small plane is still a privilege. Honestly, a bus to Manchester sounds kind of cool. Me and the boys would have made it fun, for sure.
“Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall. Business is business, but when you don’t hear any news from the club from August to January, the situation becomes complicated. After the first offer, there was a long gap of just nothing. We’re not robots, you know? You cannot wait for months with so much uncertainty about your future. Obviously, no one saw the sanctions coming, but in the end, other big clubs were showing interest, and I had to make a decision. I will leave it at that, because business aside, I have nothing bad to say about this club.
Chelsea will always be in my heart. London will always be my home. I came here alone, and now I have a wife and two beautiful kids. I also have a new brother for life named Kova. I have an FA Cup, a Europa League and a Champions League medal. And of course, I have hundreds of memories that will stay with me forever. ”