MAKING mistakes as a defender can be the most consequential, but ex-Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has admitted to mucking up DELIBERATELY.
The now-Real Madrid ace, 29, looks back on his time in West London fondly.
Rudiger admitted to deliberately making mistakes to wake up the crowd against Newcastle
Havertz scored a late winner and Rudiger was booked
Rudiger won the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup before earning a free transfer to Real in the summer.
His form under ex-boss Thomas Tuchel, in particular, made him a fan favourite with the Chelsea faithful.
However, Rudiger has admitted he would DELIBERATELY have eccentric moments to wake up the “quiet” crowd.
An example of the German international stirring a reaction from the terraces came in last season’s dramatic 1-0 Premier League victory over Newcastle.
Despite Kai Havertz scoring an 89th-minute winner, Rudiger says he was careless on purpose, which resulted in a booking.
He told German outlet Sport1: “I’ll be honest: I deliberately made a few mistakes because it was just too quiet in the stadium for me during this game.
“I wanted to wake people up with it.”
Provoking fans with mistakes wasn’t the only deliberate actions Rudiger would take on the pitch.
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He was also known for being a bit of a wind-up merchant with his opposition.
Rudiger says he “spontaneously” picks his targets to wind up as the game goes on.
He continued: ” like to analyse my opponents and think to myself: ‘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.”
The defender added: “At the end of the day, football is also entertainment.
“Fans come to the stadium to be entertained. You won’t see me dribble five, six, seven or eight players like Vinicius.
“I do this in a different way. I stand out because I’m a guy.”
Tuchel is held in high regard by Rudiger, and the dismissal of the Champions League-winning manager shocked him.
Rudiger reached out to Tuchel after the news broke and thanked his fellow compatriot for their time together at Stamford Bridge.
He said on Tuchel’s sacking: “First they let him get new players, only to then let him go after a few games.
“I was surprised at the speed. The day of his release was a sad one for me. I wrote to him afterwards and thanked him again for everything.
Rudiger reached out to Tuchel after the German was sacked by Chelsea
“He was there for everyone, not just me. If you look at where we came from and where he took us, he did the impossible.
“But you know how it is in football. Sometimes you’re the hero, sometimes the bogeyman.”
Since leaving Chelsea, Rudiger has made nine appearances for LaLiga and Champions League holders Real.
And legendary boss Carlo Ancelotti has already left a big impression on Rudiger.
Rudiger says “nobody comes close” to the Italian, who turned up at his door following his arrival in Madrid at a barbecue.
He said on Ancelotti: “I had been in our new house in Madrid for just a few hours with my family.
“We were having a barbecue and then the bell rang.
“I opened the door and Ancelotti was there! Wow! He sat with us, had lunch with us and met my family, he’s a very friendly and open man.
“He stayed with us for two hours, we talked about everything.
“I’ll be honest, I had never experienced anything like that with other coaches.
“After just these first few months I have to say that nobody comes close to Ancelotti when it comes to how he treats players.
“He’s a coaching legend who collected Champions League trophies when I was just a kid.
“Working with him every day in the world’s biggest club is just wonderful.”