Antonio Rudiger’s Champions League first leg match-up against Atletico poised him to face one of Europe’s deadliest strikers in Luis Suarez. He will face the striker once again on Wednesday night.
Speaking to the press in the pre-match press conference, in quotes picked up via football.london, Rudiger praised ‘world-class’ Suarez. He said:
“Atletico is not only Luis Suarez. Honestly, he’s a world-class player. He’s showed it at every club he has been in Europe, Liverpool, Barcelona, Ajax, now Atletico.
He’s a very, very good player and he has a lot of fight in him and obviously he’s a top opponent. He just defends his badge by trying to fight for his team.”
Rudiger faced off the ex-Barca striker in a tight clash in Bucharest and one incident between them seemed to stand out. Suarez appeared to pinch Rudiger’s thigh and the German didn’t back off, instead he stood up to the striker’s antics.
Speaking of which, Rudiger said:
“To be honest, I just saw he pinched me when I saw the pictures on social media. In the game itself, I did not really feel it. He defends his patch, I defend mine. This is all. I go with no feeling any pressure of his revenge or anything like this.”
This time at Stamford Bridge, Rudiger will also face youngster Joao Felix along with the Uruguayan marksman. Felix recently made a comeback to the Atletico team and Diego Simeone marked him fit to start the game.
“Not only Suarez, it’s also Joao Felix, who I think is a great young talent and a good young prospect. As you said, he is a different kind of player but a player that I love to watch. His technique. He has something special,” explained Rudiger.
Chelsea will look to make it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after having taken the lead in the first leg.
Tuchel will be without four major players for the 2nd leg, but Chelsea’s depth in squad looks well prepared to take on a strong Atletico side.