Antonio Rudiger can't hide his delight after Real Madrid drew Chelsea

‘This will be very special’: Antonio Rudiger can’t hide his delight after Real Madrid were drawn against his former club Chelsea in the Champions League marking the German’s first return to Stamford Bridge since summer departure

  • Antonio Rudiger says it will be ‘very special’ to face his old club next month 
  • Real Madrid have been drawn against Chelsea in the Champions League again
  • The centre back played over 130 games for the Blues before leaving in 2022 

Antonio Rudiger is excited about the prospect of lining up against his former Chelsea colleagues in the Champions League next month.

The centre-back made over 130 appearances for the Blues between 2017 and 2022, before joining Real Madrid as a free agent last summer.

But the Champions League quarter-final draw has paired his new club with his old one, and they will face each other again – like they have done in the past two seasons. 

Rudiger was part of the Chelsea team that were eliminated at this stage in 2022, but the Blues got the better of the Spanish giants in the 2021 semi-finals on route to lifting the trophy in the final.

Now part of the Real Madrid set-up, the 30-year-old tweeted about his happiness at seeing old faces soon.

Toni Rudiger will come up against his former Chelsea side after joining Real Madrid last year

Rudiger tweeted: ‘This will be very special – Can’t wait to see so many friends again.’

Rudiger is not the only former Chelsea face in the Real Madrid ranks, with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and forward Eden Hazard also in the squad going back to London.

Meanwhile, Mateo Kovacic will experience the reverse, as the Croatian returns to his former club yet again, having joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2019. 

The winner of the Real Madrid-Chelsea tie will not get an easy ride in the semi-finals either, facing either Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich or Premier League opposition in the form of Manchester City.  

Real Madrid are preparing for El Clasico on Sunday ahead of the international break, while Chelsea host Everton on Saturday evening. 

Mateo Kovacic will come up against his former club yet again after moving to Chelsea in 2019

Graham Potter will have his first experience against Real Madrid in the dugout next month

One man who will be squaring up to Real Madrid for the first time is Blues manager Graham Potter, who will be opposite Carlo Ancelotti in the dugout, after telling a fan event that Chelsea would have to win the ‘f***ing Champions League’. 

When asked about the draw in Friday’s press conference, Potter said: ‘Well, I said we’d try and ‘blank’ win the Champions League, and I’m sure that’s the same for the other seven clubs as well. 

‘And all the other clubs would also say you could lose in the quarter-final, because that’s the nature of the Champions League. 

‘We’ll focus on Real Madrid when we get there, but at the moment it’s Everton.’ 

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