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Chelsea defender Rudiger buys pizza for 13 hospitals in Germany

5:05 PM EST 12/18/20
Antonio Rudiger Chelsea 2020-21
The Blues defender is trying to help the morale of medical staff dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has thanked medical staff in Germany fighting the Covid-19 pandemic by buying pizzas and distributing them across 13 hospitals.

The German international bought the pizza for the staff at Covid-19 intensive care units at 13 hospitals across 10 different cities in Germany, with 420 staff in total receiving the gift from the 27-year-old.

Rudiger said he wanted to express his gratitude to all the people fighting coronavirus on the frontline and thank them for the personal sacrifices they make in helping others deal with the illness.

"It is tragic how the situations in the Corona intensive care units have worsened again in recent weeks," Rudiger told Goal .

"The people who work there do an incredible job. For me, they are all men and women of honour!

"With this action I would like to say thank you above all, thank you to the many hospital employees who put themselves and their health on the back burner to help other people.

"For me, it was all about the gesture. You can't thank them often enough. However, you shouldn't just thank the staff this year, but every year - and not just during a global pandemic."

Rudiger has found himself on the outskirts of Chelsea's first team this season with Frank Lampard choosing Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma as his main centre-half pairing for the majority of the campaign.

The German centre-half - who was linked with a move to Tottenham in the off-season - has only made five appearances for the club this season, with four of those coming in the Champions League and only one in the Premier League.

Chelsea have had a mixed season to date with a 14-match unbeaten streak in all competitions recently snapped by consecutive defeats in the Premier League to Everton and Wolves.

The Blues have also failed to defeat a team in the top half of the Premier League table this campaign and have dropped to seventh in the standings - six points behind leaders Liverpool.

Lampard's side have a tough run through the Christmas-New Year period but do have three of their four matches at home in contests against West Home, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Manchester City.