Rudiger, the “crazy” heir to Pepe

With a gauze in his hand over his badly injured left eye, but with a good face, Antonio Rudiger left the mixed zone of the Polish Army stadium. He took with him a goal, the first in the Champions League with the Madrid shirt, a point, which was worth the classification of his team for the round of 16 of the competition and avoided the first white defeat of the season, and another twenty more, of suture, for which he did not blink. Rudiger he’s a tough guy. As tough as noble and outgoing. Another brilliant job by Madrid’s sports management at zero cost, as happened last season with Alaba: “The feeling is that we have succeeded, as we did with David”, they comment to ABC from the club, aware of the risk of the decisions that they have taken in the last year and a half regarding the central zone of the defense.

The tests carried out yesterday ruled out any type of bone injury, something that could be foreseen after Rudiger’s message on his social networks. Already on the plane back to Madrid, late at night from Tuesday to Wednesday, the German defender wrote a very Spanish saying, a sign that also evidenced his rapid and good adaptation to the city and the country: «What does not kill you makes you stronger”, he wrote about a close-up of him with a profiden smile and a bandage on his head to cover the tower of gauze that covered his left eye.

Rudiger is a guy who has landed on his feet in all levels of Madrid and, of course, in the locker room. Alaba y Kroos They are your Ciceros. The Austrian also speaks perfect German, a key aspect in the relationship between the three. When you settle in a company and in a new country, it will always cost less to adapt if you surround yourself with good colleagues who make it easy for you and with whom you share the same language: «Alaba has helped me to integrate, and Toni speaks very well Spanish and is very helpful.


Rudi, as his colleagues call him, and Antonio, as the coaching staff does, he is a person with people skills, that which the human resources departments like so much when they open a selection process, but it is not the only virtue of the German. He is also a charismatic and funny person, and an impeccable professional. Values ​​all of them that add to a wardrobe that he has already known first-hand how “crazy I am”, as he confessed weeks ago in an interview. There he also revealed that, for the moment, he had parked his role as a DJ, which he liked so much in the Chelsea dressing room. In the Madridafter the departure of Ramos first and Marcelo later, Benzema is in charge of putting on the music: hip-hop and Afro rhythms, with certain concessions to reggaeton, the favorite style of the Spanish sector.

His relationship with Ancelotti is also special. The day before the presentation, Rudiger he was settling in his house in Madrid and decided to celebrate with a barbecue with his family. Shortly before starting, the doorbell of her house rang unexpectedly. They didn’t expect anyone who wasn’t already inside her new home, but there wasn’t anyone at the door. It was Carlo Ancelotti, who joined the sarao and tasted that barbecue together with Rudiger and the rest of his family for two hours of good food and better conversation: «We talk about everything. No coach had ever done anything like this for me before. His relationship with the players is untouchable ».

Rudiger grew up looking at himself in Pepe’s mirror, for whom he waited an hour to get his shirt, and with the ‘music’ in his head that his brother and agent played for him, Sahrwho from his time at Stuttgart told him that one day he would play for Madrid.

That was achieved this past summer, at the age of 29. He arrived with the difficult ballot of fighting for a position Militao and Alaba, sublime last season, and in less than 100 days he has managed to make Ancelotti believe that he can be as starter as the two of them. We will see if it is so in the classic this Sunday. The deep wound on the left side of his forehead would force him to play with a mask, something he already did during his time at Chelsea, but it will be necessary to wait as the days go by for the inflammation in his eye to go down, which yesterday he had like an egg, and from there assess if with that protective element it would be enough to be at Carletto’s disposal. At the moment, Militao and Alaba point to eleven, but in equal health conditions, and taking into account that the Austrian is not so fine at the start of the season, the fight for these two positions will be tough. As much as Pepe was and Rudiger is.



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