Antonio Rüdiger Says He Completed ‘Dream’ Move To Chelsea To Escape Racism In Italy

Antonio Rüdiger Says He Completed ‘Dream’ Move To Chelsea To Escape Racism In Italy
Jul 30, 2017

Chelsea News

Antonio Rüdiger, who signed for Chelsea earlier this month, has made some revealing statements about his time in Italy playing for Roma. Rüdiger, who signed for £34 million has joined the Chelsea squad following an extended break after a successful Confederations Cup with Germany where he played a crucial role in their victorious campaign.

The German centre back was targeted by Lazio fans while playing for Roma in the Rome derby and he was racially abused. The abuse became so obvious that the stadium announcer had to urge them to stop over the PA system. The Italian authorities did issue a fine to the club but didn’t sanction any other harsh punishments to the club or the offenders.

Rüdiger, who feels hard done by this, said, “I just want justice. I want FIFA or the FA in Italy just to suspend those people who do that. It is not all the people in Italy who are like that. If we always talk about racism in Italy, people think that all Italians are racist people and it is not like that. I just mean those specific people who do it. Those people need to be banned from the stadium or fined.”

He also told, “You feel alone. People love to say ‘stay calm’ or ‘don’t do anything’. It is easy for you to say those things when you are not black and you never feel what it is like. You cannot even put yourself in my position of how that feels. In that moment, it is like this. You are alone. You have to be strong. But each human is different. Someone takes it and doesn’t react. Others react. I can understand both.”

Rüdiger is ready to put that all in the back and is delighted to be at Chelsea. A deal between Chelsea and Roma was almost agreed before Rüdiger injured his knee ligaments just before the Euros, last summer.  The 24-year-old had to spend several months on the sidelines and is back now, after a successful rehabilitation process.

“It (the injury) could have been the biggest moment of my career. It was the biggest moment at the time.  But I believe in God and everything has its time. So one year later I won the Confederations Cup with Germany and one year later I am also at Chelsea. Of course, at that moment it was sad. I knew then that I had to work to get stronger back. And this is what happened.”

“It is a dream to be here. I always wanted to play in the Premier League and it is now years since my name was first linked to Chelsea. The whole squad has helped me feel welcome, they are very nice and very kind and very respectful. I like that.”

He concluded by saying, “I have not experienced the Premier League yet but the Italian league is more tactical. You don’t have these open games. In England this is different. Both teams are attacking the whole time. That is the main two differences between the two leagues. And of course the physical aspect in England. You need to prepare for a physical game.  There are a lot strikers – Jamie Vardy, Lukaku, a lot of strikers where you look at them and it is a challenge. The whole league is a challenge.”

Rüdiger has been drafted in to bolster a defensive unit which performed brilliantly during their title winning campaign, last season and with the additional demands of Champions League football, Rüdiger has been bought in to complement the likes of David Luiz, Gary Cahill and César Azpilicueta.

 

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