Antonio Rudiger has officially left Chelsea to sign for Spanish and European champions Real Madrid on a free transfer. The German centre-back has penned a four-year contract that will see him stay at the club until 2025.
For the five years prior to his switch, Rudiger had played for Chelsea, whom he joined from AS Roma back in the summer of 2017 in a 29 million pounds transfer.
Rudiger took to the social media to confirm his transfer. His announcement followed that of both Real Madrid and Chelsea, and the German international signaled his excitement at getting started at his new club.
“I’m proud to announce that I’ll be joining Real Madrid. I’m super excited for all the challenges ahead and can’t wait to play my first games for this huge club,”the 29-year-old wrote.
Real Madrid did confirm that Rudiger has signed for the next four years on their official website but stopped short of revealing his release clause – which is mandatory by law in Spain. The club did notify their supporters of the 29-year-old’s official unveiling, which will take place on June 20, following which the player will address the media.
While Rudiger endured a slow and inconsistent start to life at Chelsea, the appointment of his compatriot Thomas Tuchel as the head coach of the Blues following the sacking of Frank Lampard last January changed his fortunes.
The player became a permanent feature at the left of Tuchel’s three/five-at-the-back system, which, in just six months, had become the backbone of a successful European conquest.
Rudiger continued his good form into the 2021/22 season, playing in 34 of Chelsea’s 38 regular-season games. Overall, he started or appeared in 54 matches across all competitions – and scored five goals. The Blues’ inability to negotiate new contracts due to the sanctions levied on owner Roman Abramovich brought about the end of his five-year spell in London.