First words: Antonio Rudiger
German defender Antonio Rudiger today became the latest addition to the Chelsea squad when he completed his transfer from Roma, and shortly after signing the 24-year-old spoke to the club’s official website at Cobham.
A Confederation Cup-winner with his national side last week, Rudiger expressed his delight at joining the Premier League champions and spoke about what he hopes to achieve at Stamford Bridge.
Hi Antonio, welcome to the club. How does it feel to be a Chelsea player?
My name has been linked with Chelsea for a while and now the deal is done, and I’m officially a Chelsea player, it makes me very proud.
What are your first impressions of the training ground?
The training ground is amazing, there are lots of really big pitches and fantastic facilities. Everything here is a lot bigger than in Rome.
You must be looking forward to working with Antonio Conte…
Definitely. I’ve only had a chance to speak to him on the phone but I’m looking forward to meeting him and all of my new team-mates. Everything will be new and hopefully I can adjust quickly.
What are your biggest strengths as a player?
It’s difficult to talk about your own qualities but I would say I enjoy the physical element of the game and putting in strong tackles. I’m a fast player and I play with passion. I always give 100 per cent and I want the fans to know that.
Who were your footballing idols growing up?
There were many players I admired growing up so it’s hard to choose, but right now I would say my idol is Jerome Boateng.
You’ve moved to Chelsea from Italy. What did you learn from your time playing in Serie A?
In Italy I learned a lot as a defender from a tactical point of view and I have to say a big thank you to the people at Roma who helped me develop and achieve the move to Chelsea.
Chelsea won the Premier League title last season, did you manage to see much of the team in action?
Yes, of course. In my opinion the Premier League is the best in the world, where every player wants to play. I followed the matches and it was a great season for Chelsea. They deserved their success.
Only a week ago you were part of the Germany team which won the Confederations Cup, tell us a bit about that whole experience?
It was a wonderful experience for me. I missed the Euros through injury so it was very positive for me to be involved and obviously it was a great success. It was very important to play against some top international teams and I hope I will be able to play in many more big tournaments in the future.
Finally, what do you hope to achieve in the upcoming season with Chelsea?
I just want to help the team become even stronger. I hope to learn a lot from Antonio Conte, who is a great coach, and so many talented team-mates. Obviously it would also be great if I could lift a trophy at the end of the season.