'My mother has it kept' - Real Madrid's Antonio Rudiger reveals incredibly thoughtful gesture from Florentino Perez that convinced him to move to Spain

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Antonio Rudiger 2022-23
Antonio Rudiger revealed he was sent a letter by Florentino Perez in 2016 which motivated him to eventually become a Real Madrid player.
  • Perez sent Rudiger letter in 2016
  • Wished German well after ACL injury
  • Rudiger then set sights on eventually joining Real

WHAT HAPPENED? Real Madrid defender Rudiger explained an incredible gesture from Perez in 2016, when the club president sent him a letter wishing him well in his recovery after suffering an ACL injury during a Germany international team training session. He further admitted that the letter then served as inspiration for him to one day become a Real player himself.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to Canal+ Afrique, Rudiger explained: “I received a letter from Florentino Perez in 2016, I have the letter every day in front of me. I said [I] will one day arrive there. [He was] wishing me a speedy recovery. I couldn’t believe it."

He added: "I still have the letter, my mother has it kept."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: After recovering from the setback that kept him out of Euro 2016, Rudiger earned a move to Chelsea and established himself as one of the best central defenders in Europe over a five-year period, while also becoming a regular for the Germany national team.

Upon the expiry of his Chelsea contract in 2022, Rudiger's move to Madrid became a reality.

AND WHAT'S MORE: “The moment I knew I can go to Real Madrid is when I lifted the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea. Then I knew I can go to Real Madrid. At that moment, I knew,” he said. “There were a lot of rumours, when PSG came, it was something I was not looking for. It’s nothing against PSG, it’s a beautiful club. But Real Madrid are Real Madrid.

“If you want to be on the winning side, you join Real Madrid."


Antonio Rudiger Chelsea Champions League

Antonio Rudiger Real Madrid 2022-23

Florentino Perez

WHAT NEXT FOR RUDIGER? With La Liga looking all but sealed for Barcelona this season, Rudiger and Real Madrid's hopes for a satisfactory campaign hinge on retaining the Champions League after winning it last season. If they are to do so, though, they must once again find a way past Manchester City in the semi-final.