"This will be very special": Rudigef reacts to Real Madrid vs Chelsea Champions League draw
The Real Madrid defender is looking forward to his return to Stamford Bridge for next month's Champions League quarter-final
Real Madrid centre-back Antonio Rudiger has revealed he is looking forward to reuniting with his former employers after his current side drew former club Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals. The German departed Stamford Bridge for the Spanish giants last summer, when he was permitted to leave on a free transfer.
Rudiger spent five years at Chelsea after joining from Roma in the summer of 2017. However, it took until the managerial appointment of Thomas Tuchel for Rudiger to blossom into one of European football's finest central defenders.
The 29-year-old thrived on the left of Tuchel's back-three and was hugely influential as the Blues claimed the 2021 Champions League. Yet Rudiger's hugely impressive turnaround left Chelsea in a difficult position as his contract was due to expire the following summer.
Real Madrid eventually swooped in and secured their man for this season, with Rudiger later revealing that Los Blancos were the only option he was considering other than staying in west London. Now, the 30-year-old is set for an emotional reunion with the colleagues he left behind last summer.
After the draw, Rudiger tweeted: "This will be very special - Can't wait to see so many friends again @ChelseaFC #UCLdraw #Hustle #AlwaysBelieve."
Rudiger won't be the only member of the Madrid camp set to face their former side in the quarter-final. Manager Carlo Ancelotti will return to the club he guided to a domestic double in 2010, while goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been handed a nightmare reunion.
The two sides will meet at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first-leg, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday April 12 at 8pm, as stated on Chelsea's website. Graham Potter's side will then welcome the Spanish giants back to Stamford Bridge for the decisive game on the evening of Tuesday April 18.
Should the Blues knock out the holders, they face another tricky tie in the semi-final in the form of Bayern Munich or Manchester City.