Antonio Rüdiger’s reference is more than successful. “I look at Pepe ” , he said the day of his presentation with Real Madrid. As happened to the Portuguese, the new Madrid central defender has arrived with things to prove and each start is a challenge in itself . To Pepe, for the repeated injuries that plagued him when he arrived in Chamartín; Rüdiger, because he shares the triad of ‘starters’ with Alaba and Militao, with Nacho constantly pressing. A situation, in addition to his own courage, which has led the German international not to want to miss the Classic (he played with a mask) or the visit to Elche, knowing that it was one of those games that bear his name written in the. Against the overwhelmed bottom player he acted with a kind of bandage to cover the damaged area (there were 20 stitches) and that he still had part of his left eye with the blood vessels unrecovered (they do not impede his vision). The German has in that Pepe also given to gaps (in a clash with Casillas against Valencia, in August 2012, he ended up bleeding and in the UVI…) an example. The bar for Rüdiger is not to justify the cost of signing, as happened to Pepe with the 30 million of his transfer (a record figure in Madrid for a central defender), but to unseat a consolidated couple like Militao-Alaba who fortified the Liga-Champions double . A tandem that has been running with Ancelotti’s blessing since the same preseason, when he publicly assured that he did not want to touch that aspect of the white defense.
The distribution of minutes is focused on Alaba (1,183′) due to his double role as central defender and left-back, but between Militao and Rüdiger there is not that much distance: 864′ to 808′, the Brazilian wins . An unequivocal sign that, for Ancelotti, the German is in the ‘mix’ with last year’s successful duo. Not only does that brave and forceful style equate Rüdiger with Pepe, in just four months in Madrid the Teutonic international is winning over Real Madrid with his outgoing and charismatic character, dances in the locker room included . Not a few remember that Alaba’s famous chair began the path to the Fourteenth… and who knows if Rüdiger’s eyebrow in Warsaw could be the symbol of the takeoff of a new European victory for the white team.