European royalty Real Madrid has completed two high-profile signings in this transfer window — the first signing of Antonio Rudiger to solidify the loopholes in defence and the second of the Frenchman, Aurelien Tchouameni, to strengthen the evergreen midfield.
Both these signings have been made on a long-term basis, with the club expecting the duo to cater to their roles vehemently. To check the cohesive ability of these two players, Real’s manager Carlo Ancelotti fielded both in the first pre-season friendly against eternal rivals Barcelona.
While Tchouameni was subbed off after a mediocre performance at halftime, Rudiger’s heated persona was on display when he took on Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo in a one-on-one confrontation after Vincius Jr. was dangerously tackled.
This trait seems to be the backbone of Rudiger’s personality. He doesn’t shy away from a fight or an animated confrontation. He likes it and probably is the first one to come to the rescue of his teammates.
But lately, the training ground drills paint a contrary picture. It seems that Rudiger is failing to channel his aggression and going haywire with his defensive tackles. Looks like nobody is safe when Rudiger is on the pitch, as the German hasn’t spared even his own teammates from his wrath.
In an open training session that was filmed on video, Rudiger’s brazenness was caught. The German made a nasty challenge on Real’s delicate number seven, Eden Hazard. Such was the impact of that tackle that the players surrounding Hazard put their hands on the head, thinking that the Belgian has suffered yet another injury.
Luckily, it was only a muscle stiff that healed quickly, allowing Hazard to feature in his first El Clasico. Though, the buck didn’t stop here.
Next on the line was Real’s revered midfielder, Luka Modric, who was thrown off his footing by a strong challenge from Rudiger. The Croatian was twirling on the ground in pain as Rudiger walked by without an expression.
This angered all Real Madrid fans, who urged Rudiger to tone his aggression down and not become the reason for his own teammates’ misery. Some even called him the reincarnation of Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid who looks on course to take the ‘Red card’ baton from the Spaniard.
Rudiger looks like he has unfinished business with Los Blancos. Many believe that he’s joined Real to avenge the defeat of his former club Chelsea in the previous campaign of the Champions League. Whatever theories may emerge about Rudiger, one undeniable thing is his ability to strong-arm the opposition.
That is why Florentino Perez brought him to the club and that is the reason that fans believe in him. But if he wants them to be on his side at all times, he needs to end the crusade on his teammates and become an unbreakable wall for any opposition.