Madrid or nothing: Antonio Rudiger confirms he rejected Barcelona

Rudiger Madrid Barcelona
Photo: Getty images

New Real Madrid centre-back Antonio Rudiger has confirmed he rejected Barcelona to sign for Real Madrid.

Rudiger’s agent and stepbrother Sahr Senesie had met with Barca executives to discuss a possible transfer in March, before the player agreed a deal with Madrid a month later.

“Yes, there was interest from Barcelona,” Rudiger said on Monday during his presentation as a Real Madrid player. “But I told my brother it was Real or nothing.”

Rudiger also confirmed that initial talks with Madrid took place early last season, before the club’s interest was reignited when he impressed in their Champions League quarterfinal with Chelsea.

“The first time there was contact it wasn’t really myself, it was my agent,” Rudiger said.

“That was in September last year. The second time, when I spoke directly with Mister [Carlo] Ancelotti, was in April.

“That was the most important moment. That was when I made my choice.”

Rudiger’s contract with Real Madrid will be worth in the region of £315,000-per-week and he will also net a hefty signing on fee. 

Real Madrid’s offer beat the £230,000-per-week deal Chelsea were offering him to extend his five-year stay at Stamford Bridge.

Rudiger reportedly has a release clause of €400million in his four year contract with Real Madrid.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said: “Today one of the best defenders in the world arrives at Real Madrid. Antonio, from now on you are part of a unique club and family.

“We are very excited to have a player like you who has done everything possible to make this day come.

“Your career allowed you to choose between the big clubs and you have chosen for this shield, that will give you the strength to achieve what others believe is impossible.”

Rudiger also hailed Real Madrid’s incredible run in the Champions League last season which saw the Carlo Ancelotti’s men eliminate Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City with comebacks before beating Liverpool 1-0 in the final.

“What Madrid did last year in the Champions League, I don’t know how to describe it,” he added.

“It was incredible… When you come to a big, massive club it’s important, but I try to enjoy the pressure. I see myself as lucky to be here.”