Antonio Rudiger reveals shock at Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea sacking

Antonio Rudiger admits he was shocked by Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea sacking – as he reveals he messaged his former manager to thank him for their Champions League success

  • Former Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger has spoken about Thomas Tuchel’s axing 
  • Tuchel led Chelsea to their second Champions League triumph in 2021
  • But he was sacked earlier this season after a poor start to the campaign 
  • The centre back messaged Tuchel following news of his sacking to thank him
  • Rudiger said Tuchel was ‘unbelievable’ during Chelsea’s takeover uncertainty

Antonio Rudiger has claimed he was shocked when he heard of Thomas Tuchel’s sacking at Chelsea, with the defender revealing he messaged his former boss to thank him for the club’s Champions League triumph.

Rudiger joined Spanish giants Real Madrid on a four-year deal in the summer, joining the Champions League holders after his Blues contract expired.

The German international has kept an eye on the situation at Stamford Bridge, telling the Guardian of his surprise at the decision to dismiss Tuchel in September, just seven matches into the season.

Antonio Rudiger said he messaged Thomas Tuchel following his shock Chelsea sacking

‘It hit me,’ Rudiger said. ‘What he achieved in the club, even if it was under the old regime, it was a shock. He gets players that he wants and then all of a sudden he’s gone.

‘But it’s Chelsea. It’s also somehow not a surprise. I messaged him and said: “Thank you very much for everything you did.”

‘Not only for me but for all of us. Without him winning the Champions League was a bit far away.’

The Champions League triumph in 2021 came six months into Tuchel’s reign, after the German had replaced Frank Lampard in the dugout.

Tuchel also guided Chelsea to success in the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

Tuchel led Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2021 with victory over Manchester City

Tuchel was sacked by Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly seven games into the season

His first full season in charge saw Chelsea finish third in the Premier League, as well as end as runners-up in both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, losing to Liverpool on both occasions.

The end of the season was dominated by uncertainty surrounding the club, following the UK Government’s decision to sanction former owner Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the Blues put under crippling sanctions – including a transfer embargo and restrictions on their match day travel.

Rudiger claimed Tuchel had been ‘unbelievable’ during the period, which ended with Todd Boehly’s £4.25 billion takeover in May.

‘All the questions that came up, the way he handled himself, I think you couldn’t have done it better,’ said Rudiger, who also lifted the FA Cup and Europa League during his five years at Stamford Bridge. 

Real Madrid defender Rudiger will marshal Germany’s backline at the World Cup in Qatar

‘He took a lot of pressure from a lot of people away. Not only us players. You heard a lot from him. I think it was a very tiring situation for him. 

‘You have to focus on your job as a manager and then you have all these political questions you have to answer. He was unbelievable.’

Boehly claimed in September that Tuchel’s dismissal had been made due to the German not sharing his vision for the future of the club. The Blues endured a poor start to the season and the American opted to pull the trigger amid rumours of a rift between the pair.

Graham Potter was installed as Tuchel’s successor on a five-year deal.

Boehly said the desire to collaborate had been a key factor when appointing the former Brighton boss.

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