Ronaldo leaves Rudiger “very nervous” with phone call after Real Madrid transfer

Antonio Rudiger completed his free transfer from Chelsea to Real Madrid earlier this month and has been welcomed to the Spanish giants by Brazilian legend Ronaldo

Antonio Rudiger has signed a four-year deal at Real Madrid

Antonio Rudiger admitted he was “very nervous” when his “idol” Ronaldo congratulated him on his move to Real Madrid.

The Germany international, 29, has completed a free transfer to the Spanish capital after his Chelsea contract expired this month. He’s signed a four-year deal with Carlo Ancelotti’s side and will wear the No22 shirt, which became vacant following Isco’s recent release.

Rudiger boasts a fine CV. He won the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup during his five-year spell at Stamford Bridge. The Blues also reached three more FA Cup finals and the EFL Cup final twice during that time.

Despite this, Rudiger was still nervous when he spoke to Ronaldo for the first time. The Brazilian icon is one of the greatest footballers of all time, winning 13 trophies at club level and the World Cup twice. He also received the Ballon d’Or in 1997 and 2002.

Ronaldo enjoyed a prolific four-and-a-half-year spell at Real between 2002 and 2007, scoring 104 goals in 177 games. He produced some magical moments during that, including a famous Champions League hat-trick against Manchester United in 2003.

As such, it’s unsurprising that Rudiger holds Ronaldo in such high regard. “Ronaldo played the [World Cup] final against Germany in 2002 with a very characteristic haircut,” the centre-back told Real’s website at his unveiling earlier this week.

Antonio Rudiger waved goodbye to Chelsea fans at the end of last season


Clive Rose)

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“When we were children and we played football in the street, Ronaldo was our idol. When I signed I spoke with him by video call. He was very happy and very nervous at the same time. See you soon. Hala Madrid!”

Rudiger has joined the reigning European champions after Real defeated Liverpool 1-0 in May’s Champions League final. He is hoping to bring even more success to the Spanish giants during the next four years – including another European Cup.

Rudiger added: “It’s an honour to play for Carlo Ancelotti. I’m convinced I can still learn a lot from him, and I hope he can help me win another Champions League here.”

The centre-back admitted Ancelotti played a big role in luring him to Madrid. A number of clubs were reportedly interested in signing him, including Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel would’ve also loved him to stay.

“Ancelotti, the manager, has played a big part in this,” said Rudiger. “After I spoke to him I was convinced I wanted to join Real Madrid. But in general, everything this club represents is evident.”

When asked how he’d define himself, Rudiger added: “I’m a player with a strong character, but I think it’ s best to leave the rest to others and not to talk too much about yourself. I think it’s hard to improve your speed, but I’m lucky because it’s something I have thanks to my genetics and I’m really pleased about that.”

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