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Antonio Rudiger admits that he enjoyed riling up opponents while at Chelsea

Former Chelsea center-back Antonio Rudiger is currently plying his trade with 14-time Champions League winners Real Madrid. Having joined the Spanish club on a free transfer this summer, he already scored his first goal in the league against Mallorca in a 4-1 win. 

Former Chelsea center-back Antonio Rudiger is currently plying his trade with 14-time Champions League winners Real Madrid. Having joined the Spanish club on a free transfer this summer, he already scored his first goal in the league against Mallorca in a 4-1 win. 

The 29-year-old recently spoke to German outlet Sport1 and revealed some interesting aspects of his on-field approach. He said that he enjoyed interacting and wounding up the fans at Stamford Bridge whenever they got a little quiet. He also said that deliberately riling up opponents is a classic from his book to be a source of contention. 

“I’ll be honest: I deliberately wound people up because it was just too quiet in the stadium for me during this game. Let’s see how they react if I provoke them a bit. But it’s not like I pick someone before every game. That happens spontaneously,” Rudiger said. 

He cited Chelsea’s dramatic 1-0 win against Newcastle last season, where Kai Havertz scored an 89th-minute winner to send Stamford Bridge into a frenzy. The German defender was soon booked for reckless behavior and admitted that sometimes he does it on purpose. 

Rudiger was one of the fan favorites in London for the Blues, who spent five memorable seasons at the club. In Antonio Conte’s second season at the club, he was signed for 29 million pounds from AS Roma to strengthen their defensive prowess. He instantly became a hit with his pace and imperious game-reading ability.

He won the Europa League and the Champions League during his stay, under Mauricio Sarri and Thomas Tuchel respectively. He also picked up an  FA Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, and a Community Shield medal in these five years. Regardless of the manager at the helm, he was a mainstay in their defense and his outstanding performances in England soon made him a regular starter for Germany as well. 

His former employers aren’t doing the best of job currently, getting off to a questionable start in the league. They have also sacked Thomas Tuchel from his position to appoint Graham Potter as their head coach.