Antonio Rudiger on Escaping Racism in Italy & How it's a 'Dream' to Join Chelsea
Nobody should be the subject of racism in society let alone football, where so much enjoyment can be found and the sport often provides an escape from the harshness of life. Rudiger has recently discussed with Sky Sports what life was like with Roma, and how he looks forward to his new challenge with Chelsea after making the £34m switch.
One can only imagine what Antonio Rudiger went through during his two seasons at Roma after the German defender described being the subject of racist abuse: "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."
Rudiger has strongly called on football's governing body FIFA to do something about the situation, which has ultimately been around for far too long, saying: "I just want justice. I want FIFA or the FA in Italy just to suspend those people who do that. I just mean those specific people who do it. Those people need to be banned from the stadium or fined. "
A move to England has allowed him to escape this hell on earth, Rudiger commented on the move saying: "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."
Fresh from winning the Confederations Cup, Rudiger is ready to face off against some of the very best in world football, with a special mention for Jamie Vardy: "You need to prepare for a physical game. There are a lot of strikers - Jamie Vardy, Lukaku, a lot of strikers - where you look at them and it is a challenge. The whole league is a challenge."
When referencing the challenge, the diversity of strikers is certainly worth noting, as Lukaku and Vardy are polar opposites, with very different abilities.
Yet, Rudiger seems to be relishing the chance he has been given with Chelsea, appearing for his debut against Inter Milan on Saturday. Chelsea face off against Burnley in the opening game of the season as they look to defend their title.