After five years at Chelsea, national player Antonio Rüdiger is moving to Real Madrid. In London, this ended a time that was not always easy for the defender.

From VfB Stuttgart, his career path has taken him through several stations to the most successful club in the world: National player Antonio Rüdiger is moving to Real Madrid on a free transfer after having previously worked for Chelsea for five years. Both clubs announced this on Thursday. Rüdiger receives a four-year contract in Madrid and is scheduled to be officially presented on June 20th. “I’m proud to announce that I’m joining Real Madrid,” the 29-year-old defender wrote on social media. “I’m very excited for the challenges ahead and can’t wait to make my first game for this big club.”

Rüdiger was allowed to leave the Blues with coach Thomas Tuchel on a free transfer after his contract expired. Due to the sanctions imposed by the British government against the club and its Russian ex-owner Roman Abramovich, Chelsea have recently been unable to make player transfers or contract negotiations. Great Britain has imposed sanctions on numerous Russian citizens because of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. In the meantime, a consortium led by US businessman Todd Boehly has taken over the club.

Chelsea FC: So many memories. Thank you for everything!

The Premier League club said goodbye to Rüdiger on social networks with a collage and the words: “So many memories. Thanks for everything!” The national players Kai Havertz and Timo Werner are still under contract with the Premier League third party. Rüdiger thanked him on Twitter after the end of the season and wrote: “This club will always be special to me.”

The 50-time national player switched from AS Roma to London in the summer of 2017. With the Blues he won the FA Cup, Europa League, Champions League and Club World Cup. In almost five years at Stamford Bridge he had five different managers. After he no longer played regularly under Frank Lampard and was about to leave, the defender under Tuchel became one of the top performers in the team.

Career start at VfB Stuttgart

The professional career of the native Berliner started at VfB Stuttgart. After several years in the Swabian second team, Rüdiger made his Bundesliga debut for VfB in January 2012. In May 2014 he made his debut in the German national team. In 2015, he first moved to AS Roma on loan in Serie A before the Italians signed him permanently.