Rüdiger: “I have to personally take on my duel against a super striker like Haaland”


Real Madrid’s German defender, Antonio Rüdiger, recalled that beyond his marking, the entire team did “a very good job keeping” Erling Haaland at bay in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals against Manchester City. last year, and made it clear that he has to “personally assume” the duel that he will have again this Tuesday against “a super forward” and for which he will need the help of the rest of the teams to prevent him from receiving balls.

“It was a good game last year, we all did a very good job keeping Haaland at bay. The teammates controlled the situation and he didn’t receive as many passes as he would have liked,” Rüdiger said this Monday at a pre-match press conference.

The centre-back, despite this great marking, did not play in the return leg at the Etihad Stadium, a situation for which he believes that Carlo Ancelotti had to apologize to him. “He had his idea and as a player I have to accept it, although it was difficult to do so. I think the plan will be the same and we will have to control complicated and dangerous players like De Bruyne, Foden and, of course, Haaland,” he warned.

The Madrid player did not hide that, “without a doubt”, the Norwegian striker “is one of the strongest forwards” he has faced, although in his career one of the “most complicated” was the Argentine Sergio Agüero. “Haaland is not easy to control, he lives off the passes of his teammates and we have to try to control them in the best possible way, but you can’t control everything,” said Rüdiger.

And last year’s first leg left many curious images of his marking of the Nordic ‘9’. “There were many videos, but they are things that I don’t plan, it’s the feeling of the moment, what comes to me. I have to take on that duel personally, I’m a defender against a super forward,” the defender remarked.

Looking ahead to the match, he made it clear that they cannot “just speculate and give possession” to the English champion. “There are phases in which we will also have to press higher and other phases are the ones in which we will have to defend more, and we are willing to do so,” added the German.

“We always have to be positive about passing the tie. It is a complicated match, but we are Real Madrid and we trust ourselves. The dynamic we have is indicating that we are in good shape and with good feelings. We are a big family and that is what that we have to show on the field,” added the Real Madrid defender.

The international acknowledged that it is being “a great season” personally and that he was “quite happy”, but that this is something that did not matter to him, and also that the Champions League is “very important” both for him and for the club. “Nothing matters if we don’t move forward,” he warned.

“It’s difficult for me to speak as myself as a leader, I simply try to do my job,” Rüdiger noted about his role in the team and at the back this season. Furthermore, he assured that it is “the coach’s decision” to choose who will play against City next to him. “It doesn’t matter to me. Nacho has a lot of experience, he is very experienced and is our captain, and Tchouámeni also does a very good job and we have never lost playing together,” he explained.

On the other hand, the German was asked about the impact of Jude Bellingham and confessed that he had been “a little” surprised by his performance because he didn’t know him “much.” “But, my goodness, he has a great personality, also in the locker room, and he is a very good player. He is only 20 years old, but if you talk to him the feeling is that he has already experienced everything in life. He is very mature for his age. “he highlighted from English.

“I’m sure he’s going to be a leader. He’s professional in everything he does and he’s a very good teammate. We’re going to pray that he continues to have the good health he has and off the field he has wonderful parents who do a very good job.” and keep your feet on the ground,” said Rüdiger.