Antonio Rudiger opens up on Chelsea team-mates ahead of his exit

Antonio Rudiger opens up on his Chelsea team-mates ahead of his Stamford Bridge exit – as the German lists ‘humble’ N’Golo Kante and ‘elite’ Mason Mount among Blues players that were like ‘brothers’

  • Antonio Rudiger has opened up about his Chelsea team-mates ahead of his exit 
  • The German defender confirmed his departure in lengthy statement on Friday 
  • Rudiger was full of praise for ‘humble’ N’Golo Kante and ‘elite’ Mason Mount
  • The 29-year-old says his Chelsea team-mates felt more like ‘brothers’  

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has opened up about his Blues team-mates N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount after the German confirmed his departure in a lengthy statement on Friday.

The 29-year-old released a message to Chelsea fans thanking them for support and gave an account of his favourite memories, and people, throughout his tenure in West London.

The defender was full of praise for ‘humble’ Kante and ‘elite’ Mount – as well as referencing a tight bond between players such as Hakim Ziyech, Romelu Lukaku and more. 

Antonio Rudiger has opened up on his Chelsea team-mates ahead of his summer exit

Rudiger has been impressed with Mason Mount and claims he has an ‘elite mentality’

Speaking to The Players’ Tribune, Rudiger said: ‘Before I came to Chelsea, I had heard all the beautiful stories about him [Kante]. They said he is always smiling. They said he still drives an old Mini Cooper. 

‘They said he never raises his voice. But you know how it goes in football, right? No one is really like that. There is too much pressure, too much disappointment. We are all human. No one is that cool all the time. It’s impossible. Then I met N’Golo.’

‘Everything with Kante is authentic. Even the Mini Cooper — people laugh about it, but there is a real story behind it. 

‘It was a dream for Kante to make it to the Premier League, coming from where he came from, and the Mini was the first car that he bought when he got to England. So for him, it is not just a car. It has a deep meaning.’

‘I tell people all the time…. There is humble. And there is humble. And then there is N’Golo.’

N’Golo Kante (R) has become a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge since joining the club in 2016

Rudiger also showed praise for fellow midfielder Mason Mount, after saying: ‘When we played Real Madrid in the semi-final, we were supposed to be tourists. 

‘Everyone said we were too young. And they were Madrid. But we played like a pack of hungry dogs. Especially in the second leg at Stamford Bridge. We played like a family, for real. 

‘The final score was 3–1, but if you ask me, it easily could have been 5–1. The young boys played like men on the biggest stage — especially Mason. What a player that boy is. Seriously. Elite mentality. 

‘Sometimes I have to ask myself, ‘Is this guy really that young?’ The way he moves, the way he carries himself, it’s not like he’s 23. Against Madrid, he was just phenomenal, and in the end, we all know what happened….’

The German draws reference to Chelsea’s triumph over the Galacticos in the 2020/21 Champions League campaign – where Thomas Tuchel’s side ended up winning the competition. 

Rudiger celebrates after Chelsea’s triumph over Real Madrid in the 2020/21 campaign

Mason Mount scored in the game and helped secure a spot in the Champions League final

The 29-year-old also claimed to have developed a strong relationships with many of his team-mates at the club – something that he insists is ‘rare in football’. 

Rudiger continued: ‘The trophies that I have won here – they are nice, for sure. But what really made Chelsea a special place were the friendships. We were more than teammates. 

‘So many of these guys — NG, Kova, Ziyech, Lukaku — they are like my brothers. That’s very rare in football, honestly.’

The central defender is yet to confirm where his next destination will be but has been strongly linked with a potential move to Real Madrid in the summer. 

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