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Inside Antonio Rudiger’s Obsession With Tchouameninga

Inside Antonio Rudiger’s Obsession With Tchouameninga

Carlo Ancelotti saw his Real Madrid side finish the year on top of the 2023/24 La Liga table after a thrilling win over Deportivo Alaves.

This is a bit of a remarkable achievement for the Italian gaffer knowing that the surmounting injury issues that he’s been forced to juggle around with over the last few months.

Real Madrid have been struck by a bizarre injury bug, probably due to their exhausting schedule.

They have lost three key first-team players Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao and David Alaba to ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament) injuries – with the latter ruled out for the rest of the season.

New signing Arda Guler is yet to make his debut because of injuries and keeps getting mocked on social media.

Not just that, but Ancelotti has also been without key players like Vinicius Jr, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga for a significant run of matches.

Fortunately for him, the French midfielder Tchouameni is now back from injury and the other two are also expected to return after the turn of 2023.

The Italian manager has a special adoration for his two young French players because of their adaptability and versatility in his system.

Camavinga has become a meme for being able to play anywhere needed on the pitch, while Tchouameni has proven himself capable of slotting in as an emergency centre-back.

Ancelotti also had a hilarious confusion when speaking about Tchouameni ahead of the Alaves game.

In one moment, he blurted out the word ‘Tchouameninga’ before realizing his error and covering his face in shame. He clearly had a moment of confusion between his two French youngsters and ended up combining their names together for a hilarious nickname.

Later on, Ancelotti confirmed recently that Aurelien will be used as a centre-back amid his side’s shortage of defensive options and said: “Tchouaméni is the first option at centre-back. It’s not what we think of him, but in this moment of emergency, he can play there.”

The Real Madrid manager would put his money where his mouth is and end up having to use Tchouameni in an emergency centre-back role in the win over Alaves.

After Los Blancos went down to 10 men in the second half following the dismissal of Nacho Fernandez, the French youngster was forced to come in and accompany Antonio Rudiger at the backline.

The two managed to grind through a precious clean sheet and help their side grind their way to a win. But Rudiger seems to have found the new nickname for Tchouameni to be especially hilarious.

Even before that Alaves clash, the ex-Chelsea defender posted a teasing comment on the Frenchman’s Instagram post and wrote: “Hollywood Tchouameninga’.

The German international was not just done by that.

The teasing continued well after grinding out the clean sheet against Alaves, as Rudiger took to Instagram to celebrate the win.

He posted a picture of himself standing alongside Tchouameni in a picture and wrote in the caption ‘Get used to it bro my CB partner. @aurelientchm aka Tchoameninga’.

It’s clear that the experienced centre-back shares a close bond with Tchouameni and loves playfully ribbing him whenever he can.

Rudiger also deserves a lot of credit for the Frenchman’s impressive display as a makeshift centre-back, as he’s helped to keep him composed at the back and play a commanding role over maintaining a rigid defensive line to ensure that Tchouameni isn’t put under too much of pressure.

With Nacho suspended and the likes of Alaba and Militao both out, Real Madrid will need to play at least their next few La Liga games with the centre-back partnership of Tchouameni and Rudiger.

But seeing the way they got the clean sheet despite being a man down against Alaves, the makeshift centre-back duo are unlikely to cause any nerves in their performances.