- Ancelotti placed the defender as a left-back so as not to dismantle the Militao–Alaba couple. “I’m not crazy, he can play in that position,” said the coach.
A quick look at Madrid‘s first eleven this preseason against Barcelona pointed to Eden Hazard as a false nine as a great novelty. Although when jumping the players to the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, some would narrow their eyes. Antonio Rudiger(29 years old), a brand new summer signing who landed as one of the most powerful center-backs on the continent, ‘slept’ on the left wing. He praises (30), the presumed ‘3 ′ before the arrival of the Berliner, next to Militao in the center of the rear. The question to Ancelotti in the mixed zone was a must. “I’m not crazy and he (Rudiger) is very intelligent, in that position he can play”, explained Carletto.
During the week The German Rock already appeared as a left-back in some training and the one who warns is not a traitor. At the first change, Ancelotti chose to leave Ferland Mendy, the main victim, on the bench. Partly to test the versatility of his new soldier, but also so as not to crack a perfectly oiled defensive line. “I don’t want to change the couple from last year,” said the Reggiolo man, after pointing out that Alaba will play “left back… only when there is a need.” It is not Rudiger’s fetish demarcation, but he agreed with his coach. He gave away some trademark snatch of the house, showed that his boot does not shake if he has to shoot from distance (at Chelsea he usually did it) and, above all, exudes charisma and temperament.
“I think he’s a great player, he contributes a lot. And above all with a lot of personalities and with intensity as has been seen in that brawl, ”Courtois said with a laugh after the defeat against Barcelona (0-1), when analyzing his new partner. He had to separate him from Araujo, with whom he had a hard time during the match when a major riot broke out just before half-time caused by a kick from Jordi Alba to Vinicius. It was 45 minutes where Rüdiger left brushstrokes of the type of footballer that Madrid has signed. 18 good passes (85.7% success), a long pass, a cross, a shot on goal that went wide and three recoveries was his statistical bag.
The characteristics of the former Chelsea adapt perfectly to the side. His top speed ( he was the fastest player in the Premier last season: 36.7 km/h ) allows him to join the attack with confidence. While his good handling of the ball provides solutions in the construction and he is no stranger to moving the ball in another’s field. In the last Champions League, only Rodri, Kroos, and Modric made more passes than him, while in the Premier League he was the second defender with the most passes completed in the opposite field (1,075, compared to 1,208 for Laporte).
In Madrid, he was, and is, Alaba the center-back who participates the most in the associative game. At Stamford Bridge it was Antonio. According to data collected by Olocip, the giant of artificial intelligence, the Teuton was the fourth best of the blues in forwarding passes or third in successful passes, game changes, and in-game construction. Hence, in the eyes of Ancelotti, Austrian and German can get to exchange during games. “It can be changed during the match with Alaba. They haven’t done it today, because he has been good”, analyzed the Reggiolo, at the same time that he took off the performance of a pupil: “I liked it a lot”. The option of 3-5-2, where the one from Neukölln moves wonderfully, is also an alternative that opens up to the white team with his signing.
Ancelotti has been slipping brushstrokes of his plans for the coming course. Against América (Wednesday, 4:30 am) there will be more tests and in the last match in ‘Yankee’ territory, against Juventus in Los Angeles, the team that will try to beat Eintracht on August 10 will be seen. “I plan to use the team that will play the Super Cup”, he confessed. We’ll see if Rüdiger is in that final rehearsal at the Rose Bowl next Sunday (04:00). And, if he is, what position does he occupy?