Rudiger enjoyed ‘winding people up’ at Chelsea to wake up their ‘too quiet’ fans

Antonio Rudiger enjoyed "winding people up" at Chelsea in order to wake up the club's fans when they were "too quiet".

The German central defender spent five years at Stamford Bridge before completing a free transfer to Spanish giants Real Madrid this summer, after sanctions prevented the Blues from extending his deal. During his time in England, Rudiger garnered a reputation for winding up opponents and he was booked no fewer than 33 times as a Chelsea player.

He has now revealed he would often intentionally provoke players in order to "wake people up" in the stands, pointing to Chelsea's March win over Newcastle United in particular.

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Speaking to Sport1, he explained: "I'll be honest, I deliberately wound people up because it was just too quiet in the stadium for me during this game. I wanted to wake people up with it."

As for winding up rival players in general, he added: "I like to analyse my opponents and think to myself: 'Okay, let's see how they react if I provoke them a bit'. But it's not like I pick someone before every game. That happens spontaneously."

Rudiger played a total of 203 matches for Chelsea after signing from Roma in 2017, scoring 12 times for the club before leaving at the end of last season.

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He also won five major trophies for the Blues, including the Champions League, Europa League and Club World Cup.

The 29-year-old has made a strong start to life in Spain since signing a four-year deal with Real Madrid, featuring in each of their nine matches across all competitions and scoring once.

However, fans were quick to mock the Germany international on social media last month after spotting his "goofy a** superpower" run during the club's away win over Espanyol.

Rudiger is currently on international duty with Germany ahead of their upcoming Nations League fixtures against Hungary and England.

He will be hoping to solidify a place in Hansi Flick's World Cup squad, with Germany facing Japan, Spain and Costa Rica during the group stage in Qatar.


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