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Antonio Rudiger Reflects on Tough Decision to Leave Chelsea for Real Madrid

Antonio Rudiger played his final game for Chelsea ahead of his departure next month when his contract expires and he reflected on his special time at the club before his tough exit. 

Despite Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel wanting Rudiger to remain, the Germany international will leave for Real Madrid after agreeing a four-year contract at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Rudiger appeared in a Blues shirt for the last time during their 2-1 win against Watford, but was substituted in the 65th minute to allow for a standing ovation from the home support and a final goodbye moment.

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Tuchel confirmed the 29-year-old requested to be taken off, saying"Toni wanted that. We gave it to him because he deserves to have that moment. He delivered, this is what you get if you deliver!"

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Post-match, Rudiger spoke to Chelsea TV to deliver his emotions and share his gratitude for the five years he has spent in west London.

He said: "It's tough for me because even yesterday, the last time at Cobham - it's tough. To play this game today, receive this reception, I cannot say more than thank you. Thank you very much for the support. I will never forget this club.

"This club will always be special. Here we are like a family. On the training ground, in a year we are always together. For me it is very tough. It is not easy to describe. It's been an incredible journey man."

When he was taken off on Sunday in the capital, the fans applauded and cheered him off which was a special moment for the central defender. 

He added: "For me, my family, my wife - it's really special. I can understand all the disappointment and everything. To come out and give me this kind of reception, thank you very much. I appreciate it."


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