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Antonio Rudiger has been performing well for club and country, and the 24-year-old has been one of the key players for Chelsea this season.

Rudiger joined Chelsea last season and had to fight his way through the Chelsea team, and he hasn’t left the first eleven since he entered the first team last season.

Rudiger is bullish and a very strong defender and he makes the job hard for strikers, but little will you know that he started his career as a striker.

Rudiger told Chelsea Magazine that he started out as a striker when he was a younger player, but he was moved to a centre-back role by his then coach – a move he never appreciated but took to it with diligence.

“At first, it was something completely different to play in defence,” Rudiger told Chelsea Magazine.

“I think it’s more responsibility to play there because, at the end of the day, if you concede there’s always the defenders to blame.

“But I’m not afraid to make mistakes and keep going – that’s not a big deal. Mistakes happen and you just have to go on. It’s just about learning quickly what the coach wants and then trying to do that in a good way. I always have to move forward in life.”

Rudiger also revealed that his growing up in a poor region in Germany made him tough which has helped him as a footballer.

He said: “I grew up in an area with a lot of refugees. There was a real mix of people, but normally not many German people, more foreigners. It was tough because, in those types of places, everyone has their own mind, way of thinking, their own culture. That’s a good thing as well because now I’m open to every culture.

“But sports, in general, bring people together. There, you speak one language, and from my point of view it was football that did that. We had a little football cage in the neighbourhood and that’s where I started playing. All the kids went out there and we had tournaments, it was competitive – you had a lot of skilful guys there and it was always interesting.”

About the Author

Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.