Former Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has explained how Mateo Kovacic played a pivotal role in encouraging him to join Real Madrid.
Rudiger was officially unveiled as a Madrid player on Monday morning after signing a four-year deal at the Bernabeu following the expiration of his Chelsea contract.
The centre-back has recently explained how he ‘spoke to Kovacic’ and that the midfielder told him he would ‘enjoy it’ at the LigaLiga giants.
Speaking to Spanish news outlet Marca, Rudiger said it was his former Chelsea team-mate that convinced him to make the move to LaLiga.
Ruidger said Kovacic – who used to play for Real Madrid- told him it was the ‘right step to do’ and insisted he would ‘enjoy himself’ playing alongside the likes of Luka Modric.
Ruidger spoke to the press about the decision-making behind the move and revealed: ‘To be honest I didn’t speak to Toni Kroos too much about it here.
The 29-year-old added: ‘I spoke more to Mateo Kovacic about Real Madrid and he told me quite a lot.
‘And because of him speaking a lot with [Luka] Modric, and because of him, I spoke with him and he told me ‘You’re going to enjoy it here, it’s the right step to do.’
‘I never heard anyone say anything bad about Madrid. I’m looking forward to starting.’
The LaLiga giants confirmed Rudiger’s switch from Chelsea to Real Madrid over two weeks ago, but the German defender has been away on international duty so an unveiling had to be postponed.
Once he returned from international duty he attended Madrid’s training complex to be presented to the media.
It has been revealed that Rudiger will wear number 22 at Real Madrid, which is newly vacant following Isco’s departure this summer.
Speaking at the unveiling, Rudiger told reporters: ‘It’s a very special day for all of us, but especially for me.
‘I would like to thank my parents, because without them I could not be here. They have always supported me and that throughout my life has been very very important.
‘I also want to thank the president of Real Madrid for giving me the opportunity to play for this great club. I can promise you that I will give everything for this club. I want to win as many titles as we can. Hala Madrid and nothing else!’
Rudiger’s contract with the LaLiga side will be worth in the region of £315,000-per-week and he will also net a hefty signing on fee.
It means the eye-watering financial package is worth significantly more than the £230,000-per-week deal Chelsea were offering him to extend his five-year stay at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, sources close to the deal have indicated that Rudiger’s release clause at Madrid will be €400m (£342m).