Mason Mount pays emotional tribute to Antonio Rudiger after final Chelsea match vs Watford
Antonio Rudiger played his last match for Chelsea on Sunday afternoon as the Blues beat Watford 2-1, and Mason Mount has now paid tribute to the defender
Mason Mount has paid tribute to “top, top guy” Antonio Rudiger following the defender’s final match for Chelsea. The German defender has confirmed he will leave the club in the summer transfer window following the expiry of his contract, meaning the win against Watford on Sunday will be his last game for the Blues.
Rudiger started against the Hornets, but was brought off on 65 minutes to a standing ovation from the Chelsea supporters at Stamford Bridge. The Germany international is now expected to complete his free transfer to Real Madrid in the coming weeks.
The 29-year-old centre-back has played 133 Premier League games for Chelsea since arriving at the club back in the summer of 2017 from AS Roma. In that time, it’s been a mixed bag for Rudiger, but the defender ended his almost five-year spell with the club as one of the strongest performers of the season.
“What a guy he is. A top, top guy,” Mount said on Rudiger after the match via The Chelsea Chronicle. “Every time you’re on the pitch with him, you look around, and you can see the fire in his eyes to want to compete. He’s there behind you if there’s something that happens, he’s straight there trying to back your teammates.
“On the pitch, that person and totally different off it, an absolute gentleman. A pleasure to play with him over the last couple of years, I’ve learned a lot from him. We wish him all the best until we play against him.”
nder Frank Lampard, Rudiger was exiled from the team, but he has found his form under German countryman Thomas Tuchel since he arrived at Chelsea at the start of 2021. In an interview with The Times last week, Rudiger sent the club’s hierarchy a warning about their usual lack of patience when it comes to coaches.
“I hope for this club that the mentality changes of sacking coaches so early when success is not there,” he said. “I like to trust the process, and with this coach, you can see there is a process.
“Chelsea can be very proud to have a coach like this. The way he handled himself. The way he handled things in those tough moments, you have to give him kudos for that, you have to give him credit for that.
“With all this noise around and everything the way he managed us, to go out there in Santiago Bernabéu with all that was going on and to deliver something like this [beating Real Madrid away but being eliminated from the Champions League in extra-time], you have to give him credit for that.
“For me, he is a phenomenal coach. He is up there with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.”