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