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Antonio Rudiger only wanted to join Real Madrid

Antonio Rudiger says Real Madrid was his dream destination.

The German defender was presented as a Real player on Monday (20.06.22) after joining on a free transfer from Chelsea and admits that he chose the club over their fierce rivals Barcelona.

Rudiger said: "Yes, there was interest from Barcelona. But I told my brother (also his agent) it was Real or nothing.

The player revealed that he made a decision to join the club following Real's quarter-final clash with Chelsea last season.

He recalled: "The first time there was contact it wasn't really myself, it was my agent. That was in September last year. The second time, when I spoke with Carlo Ancelotti, was in April. That was the most important moment. That was when I made my choice.

“The conversation was that he wants me, he trusts in my abilities and that I can be very helpful for him and to the team. At my age, where I am right now, this is enough. And, at the end of the day, it’s Mr Ancelotti.

“You know in Madrid, you will have competition and in general nothing is guaranteed so you have to fight for your place and that is why I am here, I am ready to do that.”

Rudiger is aware that he will be under pressure to perform at Real but is confident that he can deliver more silverware for European football's most successful club.

He said: “You come to a big, big, massive club – that’s a huge step for myself. But I try to enjoy the pressure. I see myself as fortunate to be here, to do what I love.

“I was in the trophy cabinet of Real Madrid and there the pressure starts. This is something that you cannot run away from. You have to try to enjoy it.”

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