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German professional football player Antonio Rudiger, who plays in the role of a defender, has grabbed attention with his potential. On an international scale, he represents Germany. Additionally, he plays for Chelsea. Rudiger’s career started at VfB Stuttgart, when he represented the reserves of the team in 3.Liga. Later on, he represented their first team in Bundesliga. Besides, he also got associated with Roma in 2015. Initially, he went there on loan. But later, the team hired him by paying a fee of €9 million.
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After that, he joined Chelsea, where he now plays. Reportedly, the club paid £27 million to bring him to the team in 2017. On the other hand, in March 2014, Rudiger debuted internationally for Germany. After missing UEFA Euro 2016 with injury, he found a place on the squad that won Confederations Cup in 2017.
Having shown his potential as a football early in his life, Antonio used to play for a small club named VfB Sperber Neukölln in his locality. After staying there from 2000 to 2002, he joined SV Tasmania Berlin in the year 2002. There, he continued for three years, until he joined another team named Neuköllner Sportfreunde 1907 in the year 2005. He only played for a season there, and then he moved to Hertha Zehlendorf. He stayed associated with the team from 2006 to 2008. Then, he joined the youth programme of Borussia Dortmund in 2008, and remained there till 2011, before he went to VfB Stuttgart.
Rudiger’s journey with VfB Stuttgart began as he became part of the youth programme. In July 2011, he debuted for VfB Stuttgart II in a 3.Liga game in which his team faced Arminia Bielefeld. In January 2012, he debuted in Bundesliga for the first team of VfB Stuttgart. It was a professional match in which his team faced Borussia Mönchengladbach. The match ended with a 3-0 defeat for Antonio’s club.
In April 2013, Rudiger signed a contract extension with VfB Stuttgart, which would last until June 2017. He got a red card in a match that ended with a 2–0 loss to Greuther Fürth in May. In June, he participated in the final game of DFB Pokal as his team had a 3–2 loss to Bayer Munich. Eventually, he completed his second season with 24 games.
In October 2013, Rudiger again saw a red card and had to leave the 3–3 draw facing Hamburger SV. His 2013–14 season came to an end with 35 appearances in which he scored 2 goals, while his following season saw only 20 of his appearances, in which he made 1 assist. He faced many injuries in that season.
In August 2015, Rudiger became part of Serie A by signing with Roma on loan. Roma paid a sum of €4 million. Besides, an option of €9 million, as transfer fee when the contract of one year would come to an end, was discussed by the two teams. In September, he debuted in a match that ended with a 2–0 win over Frosinone. In January 2016, he made his first goal for the new club in a 1–1 tie with Milan. He ended his season with 37 games in which he scored 2 goals. In May, after ending his loan period, he joined the club officially for €9 million. Additionally, €0.5 million in bonuses was also included in the contract of four years.
In February 2017, he became part of the 1–0 loss to Villareal in UEFA Europa League’s round of 32. But, he had to leave the ground because of a double yellow card. In April, he again had to be sent off after seeing a red card in the Derby della Capitale match that ended in a 3-1 lost to Lazio. Rudiger ended his season with 35 games in which he made 4 assists.
In July 2017, Rudiger made a move to Chelsea. Reportedly, Chelsea paid £29 million as an initial fee, for a fee of five hears. He debuted in August against Arsenal, in the FA Community Shield 2017 match that ended with his team’s loss with a score of 4–1 on penalty shots. Then, he played in the first Premier League match of his life within a couple of days; but, the match ended in a 3–2 loss to Burnley. His first goal for the new team came in an EFL round of 16 match, which ended with a victory of 2–1 over Everton. He scored his first ever league goal against Swansea City in November.
Rudiger had the eligibility to represent both Germany and Sierra Leone, because of his family connections to the two places. He became a member of the various levels of youth teams of Germany, gong up to U21. Then, he debuted for the country’s senior team in May 2014. The match came to a goalless draw with Poland. He became part of Germany’s 23-player squad to represent UEFA Euro 2016; however, Rudiger later lost his place in the tournament because of an injury.
Rudiger became part of the national squad of Germany in the FIFA Confederations Cup of 2017. He performed in 4 matches of the campaign. These include the 1–0 victory in the final match over Chile. In October 2017, he made his first goal as a Rudiger in a 5–1 victory against Azerbaijan in the qualifier match of World Cup. During his time, Germany’s greatest success so far has been the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017.
Rudiger was born in Berlin, in Germany. His father, named Matthias Rudiger is from Germany. On the other hand, Lily, his mother, is from Sierra Leone. Both of his parents have an African origin. Antonio is a Sierra Leonean as well as a German national. Aside from his brother, Sahr Senesie, who is also a German player, he has four sisters. The Rudigers did not have a lot of wealth to boast of. Antonio saw his parents’ sacrifices, particularly at the time when they had to escape from Sierra Leone because of the Civil War.
In Berlin, Antonio lived in a tough neighbourhood, which had a dense population of immigrants. Hence, the people around him were not the rich, bratty people who went to posh schools. The player today connects deeply with the culture of that neighbourhood. He also feels the same about his African roots, which means a lot to him. His culture, ways and lifestyle are related to his roots. He visited Sierra Leone at the age of 15. Today, Antonio keeps most of his personal life private and prefers to be known for his sporting prowess.
The current market value of Antonio Rudiger is £36 million, after ending 2017 with a value of £22.5 million. Having gradually climbed to this value, Antonio Rudiger now acquires the 91st place among the players around the world. Besides, he also achieved his place as the 31st player among the participants of Premier League. Among the players of Chelsea, he stands at the 5th place; and among German footballers, he is ranked 10th. He is the 12th highest paid centre back right now. Additionally, he has the 11th highest market value among players born in the year 1993. From a boy belonging to a family struggling with financial issues, to a £36-million, this player has had a stunning journey.
For his contributions to his teams, Antonio has been presented with the U19 Fritz Walter Medal in the year 2012.