Antonio Rudiger has revealed how his parents had predicted a Champions League reunion with his old club Roma, even before the draw was made.
The 24-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge for £34 million in the summer transfer window and has made a positive impact at his new club, scoring his first goal in the Carabao Cup win over Everton.
Rudiger was also part of the side that gained their first clean sheet since September 23 and, ahead of Tuesday's meeting with Roma, has revealed his parents knew the two sides would face off in Europe's premier competition.
“I spoke to my parents and they told me 'you will get Roma',” Rudiger said. “They just said 'for sure, you will get Roma'. It always happens like this. The ex-[player] plays against the ex-[club]. It happens.
“It was like this and I was happy and I am happy to go on Monday to Rome, to go there and play against my old team because I have a big respect [for them]. I had two wonderful years there with ups and downs with injuries.
“They were always standing behind me; the players, the team, the board and the fans. I appreciate that. I know this team. They [Roma] want to play football. They have the desire to always play football and it doesn’t matter what the situation is.
“They came to Stamford Bridge and had more possession than we did. Also we saw that [Edin] Dzeko is a very, very dangerous striker. We saw him in the Premier League, everyone knows him. [Aleksandar] Kolarov at the back has a lot of power and we need to be ready in that stadium because it [the atmosphere in the stadium] will be very hot.
“Now I am at Chelsea and I am very happy with that. I will give 100 per cent and will be focussed on Chelsea and that game. I am very pleased with the games that I have been playing and I am very happy about that.
“I always try to give my best for the team. At the moment, I am in good shape and this is where I want to stay and get better.”
Rudiger came off the bench in the recent 3-3 draw with Roma at Stamford Bridge. However, on that night, Roma fans were accused of directing racist taunts towards their former player and UEFA are currently investigating the accusations.
The Germany international has challenged racism in Italy before but he is now keen to switch focus to the pitch and is grateful for his time with the Serie A runners-up.
Discussing Chelsea's start to the season that has seen them claim six wins from their opening 10 league matches, Rudiger revealed he does not mind if the Blues have to win ugly, as long as they get the three points.
He added: “At the start we have had some difficulties but it is just important to win. That’s it. It can be ugly, it can be nice but at the end of the day you have the three points and this is the most important thing.
“The thing is that here [in England] you have to have big respect for the smaller teams on paper. They always give their all and this is very good and it makes the league very competitive. This is what I like and was my mindset when I knew I was coming to Chelsea.
“I knew I would have to be 100% focused in every game and try to develop every time. At 24 years old, I am still young and I have to improve. There’s a lot of space to improve.”
Rudiger has made 10 starts and a further three appearances from the bench since his move to west London in the summer.