Rio Ferdinand reckons Antonio Rudiger will regret how he reacted to the Real Madrid players following Chelsea’s Champions League exit.
The Blues travelled to Madrid hoping to overturn a two-goal deficit. Goals from Mason Mount and Rudiger erased Real’s lead before Timo Werner put Chelsea ahead on aggregate.
However, Rodrygo pulled the Spaniards level with 10 minutes to play after slotting home a divine pass from Luka Modric.
Extra time awaited, with Karim Benzema joining the party in the 96th minute when heading past Edouard Mendy to make it 5-4 overall.
Chelsea pushed and pushed, though couldn’t send the tie to penalties as the reigning champions exited at the quarter final stages.
Rudiger was seen reacting poorly to a number of Real Madrid players attempting to embrace him immediately after the final whistle.
David Alaba was pushed away after attempting to say a few consoling words with Rudiger then storming off and dropping to his knees while yelling. Other Real stars tried to shake Rudiger’s hand, but the German remained rooted to the ground.
Speaking on BT Sport after viewing Rudiger’s reaction, Rio Ferdinand understood emotions were running high, though insisted the Chelsea man will regret his response.
“It’s emotional, man. And I don’t think he’d necessarily want to react like that or see those pictures,” said Ferdinand (via the Metro).
“But the feeling there you can’t control it. We’ve all been there after big games, I’ve said and done things that you regret, you think: “that’s not me, that’s not my normal personality”. But this is what football means to people.
“If you see changing rooms after games… imagine that changing room there. There will be things going flying.
“I hit walls, I ended up kicking people at times! I got done at Chelsea kicking someone by accident, you don’t mean it you just lose your head, you don’t mean anything by it.
“But I like to see that because that’s the emotion, there’s a care and a desire to win and they know what it means and how close they were.”
Rudiger hails Real Madrid pair
Rudiger himself spoke to BT Sport in the aftermath. The centre-half hailed his team for the way in which they fought back at the Bernabeu. However, he also admitted the “individual class” of superstars Karim Benzema and Luka Modric proved decisive.
“Over the two legs if you make these kind of mistakes you get punished,” said Rudiger (via the Express).
“It was a do or die for us. Before the game not everybody thought we could get to 3-0. But then the individual class comes to light with Modric and Benzema, now we are here.”
“The positive is we didn’t give up. Not many teams can come here and dominate them as we did. But over the two legs if you make the mistakes we did, you get punished.
“That was the game plan, to find our No 10s with Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] and Mason [Mount] between Casemiro and the defence.
“We got the goal and we controlled, we didn’t panic. We did it quite well and in the second half we scored goals and did everything we could.”