Chelsea star finally reveals why he’s leaving Club following FA Cup final defeat
‘It has nothing to do with it’ – Chelsea star finally reveals why he’s leaving Club following FA Cup final defeat
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger stated that the UK government’s fines against Chelsea were not the driving force behind his decision to leave the club.
Rudiger has been an important player for Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, but he is yet to sign a new contract.
As a result, the former Roma centre-back will leave on a free transfer at the conclusion of the season, with Real Madrid his most likely destination.
Since joining Chelsea in 2017, Rudiger has played in four FA Cup finals, winning one, and one Champions League final. His achievements include the UEFA Super Cup, Europa League, and FIFA Club World Cup.
Tuchel argued that the sanctions imposed on Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovic in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine meant the Blues were unable to meet Rudiger’s financial demands upon confirming his departure in April.
Rudiger, on the other hand, said that the sanctions had no bearing on his decision.
“I don’t want to go too deep into things,” he told reporters at Wembley on Saturday, after Chelsea lost 6-5 on penalties to Liverpool in the FA Cup final, their third consecutive defeat in the competition’s showpiece.
“There was a chance but sanctions were not the problem.
“It’s been five years with ups and downs as normal. There were a lot of positive things, but that’s why I’m even more frustrated because I wanted to have a different ending.
“It’s about both sides. Chelsea have been great to me and I have been great for Chelsea. I am very, very thankful, both me and my family.
“I became a man here. My kids were born here and everything. London, and especially Chelsea, will always be special to me.”
However, Chelsea have become the first side since Newcastle United (1974, 1998 and 1999) to lose on three consecutive FA Cup final appearances, while the Blues are the first team since Middlesbrough in 1996-97 to lose both of England’s domestic cup finals in the same campaign, after their penalty shoot-out loss to Liverpool in the EFL Cup final in February.
“I think it was a good game just like the EFL Cup final. We had chances, they had chances,” reflected Rudiger.
“But at the end of the day we know that penalties are always a lottery and we lost.
“It’s about winning, it’s not about next season. The game was about today and it was there to take. Unfortunately we didn’t win.
“It’s always difficult to say whether we are lucky or unlucky. For myself it’s the third time [I have lost an FA Cup final] so you can’t always say unlucky, unlucky, unlucky.”
However, Rudiger has two games left before he leaves Chelsea, with the Blues hosting Leicester City on Thursday before closing out their season against Watford.
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