“I need mind games and trash talk”

Real Madrid star Antonio Rüdiger has explained why he likes to provoke his opponents as a central defender.

At 29, Rudiger is currently at the top of his game, plying his trade for Real Madrid. He started his senior career with German club VfB Stuttgart and had stints at AS Roma and Chelsea before moving to La Liga this summer.

While the defender impressed for Stuttgart and AS Roma, it was only after Thomas Tuchel joined Chelsea in January 2021 that he really came to prominence. Under the German tactician, he established himself as one of the best at his position and helped the Blues to UEFA Champions League glory.

Rudiger, who is now a regular at Real Madrid, was never known as a quiet footballer. Over the years he has made his mark as an attacking centre-back, receiving six red cards in the process.

Ruediger explained the reasons for his aggressiveness and insisted he didn’t become a footballer to please everyone. He further insisted that he likes to make his opponents uncomfortable as a defender. He told the German television station SPORT1:

“I didn’t become a professional footballer to be everyone’s friend. It’s nice when someone likes me, but I can’t please everyone. I love defending and being clumsy [for others].”

Rudiger, who has not been sent off at club level since 2017, has matured as a player in recent years. However, he continues to play mind games with his opponents for fun. He added:

“That’s just me. I also love and need the mind games and trash talk with my opponents, I just enjoy that.”

The Germany international also revealed that he likes to provoke his opponents in order to understand them. He said:

“I like to analyze my opponents and think, ‘Okay, let’s see how they react if I provoke them a bit.’ But it’s not like I pick someone before every game. That happens spontaneously.”

Superstar Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) recently described Rüdiger as a “scary centre-back”.

How has Rudiger fared for Real Madrid this season?

Rudiger has made nine appearances for Real Madrid in all competitions so far this season. He also scored his first goal for the club against RCD Mallorca in La Liga earlier this month, helping them win 4-1.

Antonio Rüdiger in the top scorer list for Real Madrid for the first time 🤗 https://t.co/rhkNqifgT6

While the German is primarily a centre-back, he has featured as a full-back for Los Blancos this designation. Having already helped them win the UEFA Super Cup, he is aiming to win more trophies this season.

Edited by Dakir Mohammed Thanveer

https://www.sportskeeda.com/football/news-i-need-mind-games-trash-talk-real-madrid-star-says-likes-provoke-opponents-see-react?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda “I need mind games and trash talk”


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