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Rudiger: “Not winning the Champions League at Real Madrid is like a failure”

The defender talked to GQ Magazine and shared his impressions of the club after his debut season.

Real Madrid v AC Milan - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

The 2022-2023 season was Antonio Rudiger’s first at Real Madrid, and it was a fairly successful one for the German defender, at least in terms of his individual performances. Rudiger talked to GQ Magazine and shared his impressions of the club and Spanish football after that campaign.

“Spanish football is so skilled, there are many good players and all the teams try to play football, which I like. Almost nobody sits back and it’s also a very intense type of football, it’s definitely elite. I’m very happy in Madrid and I love how many different options of food there are, I love Spanish food. It’s true that a lot of their dishes have pork meat which I can’t eat because of my religion, but I’m really looking forward to trying paella. What I like the most is the fact that there’s people from many different places living in peace,” he said.

Rudiger also shared his thoughts about racism in Spanish football.

“If you ask me if someone has been racist with me in Spain my answer would be no. There was a misunderstanding in Cadiz and the media published that they racially abused me, but I truly didn’t hear them calling me those things. If you ask me if Vinicius is racially abused, the answer is definitely yes, and when they abuse him they are automatically abusing me even if those insults aren’t directed at me. But this is not something about Spain, it happens everywhere. It’s a lack of proper education, I’ve always said it and I repeat it. It’s important to say that it’s not all Spanish people, just some idiots. There are many Spaniards who don’t tolerate racism, it’s important to mention that racists are a minority here, but we need that to stop. Education is important and it’s crucial for everyone to realize that we’re all equal,” he added.

Rudiger was then asked about the importance of the Champions League.

“I don’t feel like I’ve won everything, to be completely honest. One of my main goals now is to win the Champions League with Real Madrid, because not winning it here is like a failure. I’m at the peak of my abilities, I’m 30 years old and I’m hungry for trophies,” explained the defender.

The German defender concluded his interview by explaining what happened when he defended Haaland.

“I was calm, I know how good I can be if I’m 100% ready from a physical and psychological standpoint. A situation was created and I love that kind of situation. During the days prior to the game the media were discussing if I could defend Haaland, people started to question that and if I’m being honest I love that atmosphere because I shine when people start questioning me,” he said.

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