If anybody in the current Chelsea backline embodies the club’s fabled defence of old, it may well be Antonio Rudiger. Like legends such as John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho, the German centreback is strong on the tackle, unrivalled in the air and astute in his positioning and reading of the game. When Rudiger lunges on to a challenge, he takes no prisoners.
While Sarri has asked for more savviness from the Blues back four, the 25-year-old more or less still retains the famed traits of a classic centre-half. But if Rudiger is always guaranteed to strike fear into opponents when he lunges in without reservations, he maintains a soft spot for the young – literally.
Taking a break from imposing himself at the heart of the Chelsea defence, Rudiger found time for the local school children in London at a Chelsea Foundation event. The central defender surprised pupils from Fulham Primary, Servite Primary and Holy Cross Primary who were attending an Equality and Diversity Workshop, wherein they presented their raps regarding persons of different backgrounds and personal differences.
The German, who has a German father and a mother who originally hails from Sierra Leone, then participated in a Q&A with the children before hailing the significance of these workshops, saying the concepts of equality and diversity are important to be taught to kids from a young age.
“Events like these are very important because with the way the world is going everything is multi-cultural so it’s very good that young kids at this age are starting to know and understand the meaning of us all being equal,” said the German centreback.
“With their raps it was all in a good way, these are still kids so you have to make things a bit more fun because this matter is serious so I really liked their raps, they were really good!
“Of course they were very excited to see a footballer so they were asking me a lot of questions about football but when they then thought about things they also asked about my experience in Italy and that is very good because I am a very honest person on that.”