Rudiger relishing Chelsea battles as he eyes continuous improvement and silverware

HD Rudiger
The Germany international defender has embraced the challenges posed by English football and feels he has become a better player for his experiences

Antonio Rudiger is loving life in English football, with the Chelsea defender revelling in the physicality of Premier League battle as he eyes continuous improvement and more major honours.

The Germany international has been at Stamford Bridge since completing a £29 million ($38m) switch from Roma in the summer of 2017.

His debut campaign delivered 45 appearances across all competitions and an FA Cup triumph.

And he believes his game has been raised in 2018-19, with the 25-year-old centre-half embracing the challenges put to him.

Rudiger told Goal and Spox: “I feel very comfortable in London.

“In my eyes the Premier League is the best league in the world. Every opponent is a difficult challenge, no game is easy. But that's exactly what makes the charm.

“I've been here with Chelsea for one-and-a-half years now. I think, personally, I got better and better in the club month by month, adapting my game more and more to the league here.”

Rudiger has previously spent time in the Bundesliga and Serie A and admits the Premier League demands greater consistency than the top tiers in Germany and Italy as every rival is dangerous.

He added: “Of course there are also outstanding and world-class strikers in the Bundesliga, such as Robert Lewandowski.

“But honestly, in the Premier League, even the teams in the lower half of the table have really strong players up front, which are so hard to defend. [Salomon] Rondon from Newcastle for example.

“This is 90 minutes of pure wear and tear, in which you cannot stop to focus even after a two-goal lead. But it's fun, that's how football should be!”

Willian Antonio Rudiger Chelsea 2018

Rudiger is currently looking to help Chelsea chase down a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.

They also have an FA Cup fifth round clash with Manchester United to come, a Europa League last-32 encounter with Malmo and a Carabao Cup final date with Manchester City.

“Of course I've been very annoyed recently that we have unnecessarily dropped points in some games, but for our goal to reach the top four we are still in business,” said Rudiger.

Article continues below

“The FA Cup is now really at an important stage. In the League Cup, we are already in the final.

“Although many people here think that this cup is not that important, a title is still a title and always something special.”

Chelsea will be back in action on Sunday when they take in a testing trip to the Etihad Stadium to face defending Premier League champions City.