German international defender Antonio Rudiger has joined Spanish and European champions Real Madrid from Chelsea, the two clubs confirmed on Thursday.
The 29-year-old centre-back, who was out of contract at Chelsea, has signed a four-year deal in the Spanish capital, Real announced.
Rudiger’s goodbye to Chelsea – Marca
Before it was confirmed that he’d be joining Real Madrid, Rudiger had already said goodbye to Chelsea.
“Chelsea will always be in my heart, London will always be my home,” he said on the Players’ Tribune.
“I have an FA Cup, a Europa League and a Champions League medal. And of course, I have hundreds of memories that will stay with me forever.”
He did also, however, reflect on how contract renewal talks had been difficult at Chelsea.
“Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall,” Rudiger wrote.
“Business is business, but when you don’t hear any news from the club from August to January, the situation becomes complicated.
“After the first offer, there was a long gap of just nothing.
“We’re not robots, you know? You cannot wait for months with so much uncertainty about your future.”