Real Madrid star reflects on his time at Borussia Dortmund ahead of the Champions League final

For many, the only connection to be made between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund ahead of their Champions League final will be that of Jude Bellingham

Having arrived at the Westfalenstadion in the summer of 2020, Bellingham quickly established himself as one of Europe’s most promising young players. During his time at Die Schwarzgelben, the Englishman conjured up 132 appearances, scoring 24 goals while collecting 25 assists. 

However, Bellingham’s €100 million move to the Santiago Bernabéu last summer failed to make him the only player to have represented both BvB and Los Blancos.

Between 2008 and 2011, Madrid’s defensive stalwart Antonio Rüdiger featured for Dortmund’s youth sides. Having moved from his youth side in Berlin, Hertha 03 Zehlendorf, Rüdiger attempted to pursue his dream of professional football at one of Germany’s biggest clubs. 

Nevertheless, it was a move that nearly ended the 31-year-old’s career. Upon his move to Dortmund, Rüdiger was an offensive player, but realising his qualities lie elsewhere, he was transitioned into defence.

Commenting on the situation, Rüdiger acknowledges that it was “a really tough change,” but one that was ultimately “perfect.” 

Therefore, the former Chelsea and Roma defender still cherishes his time spent at the club but insists that a move to Stuttgart was the necessary step forward in his career. 

“I had a good time there with a lot of talent. Some made it, and some didn’t. It was an educational time. I am very grateful for that.”

“I left because I simply wanted to play in the Bundesliga in the short to medium term. I saw that more at Stuttgart than at Dortmund.”

In 2012, Rüdiger realised his dream and never looked back. Having been capped 68 times by the German national team, as well as being able to boast a Champions League triumph with Chelsea, the 31-year-old has undeniably enjoyed a remarkable career.

Regardless, despite owing a lot to BvB, on June 1, Rüdiger will be looking to get one over on his former employers and claim his second Champions League trophy. 

GGFN | Will Shopland

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