ANTONIO RUDIGER has revealed how Mateo Kovacic helped encourage him to join Real Madrid.
The German defender was unveiled by Los Blancos on Monday after completing his free transfer from Chelsea.
The 29-year-old snubbed an extension at Stamford Bridge in order to run down his contract and move to the Bernabeu for nothing.
Rudiger was linked with a whole host of clubs prior to his exit, with Premier League rivals Manchester United and Bayern Munich also linked.
It then emerged that Barcelona were jostling with Madrid for his signature – but the centre-half has already admitted how he snubbed the Catalans.
Now he has also revealed the role that his Croatian former Chelsea teammate Kovacic, who moved to the Blues from Madrid, had in him signing for the LaLiga giants.
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Rudiger told Marca: “To be honest I didn’t speak to Toni Kroos too much about it here.
“I spoke more to Mateo Kovacic about Real Madrid and he told me quite a lot.
“And because of him speaking a lot with [Luka] Modric, and because of him, I spoke with him and he told me “You’re going to enjoy it here, it’s the right step to do.”
“I never heard anyone say anything bad about Madrid. I’m looking forward to starting.”
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Rudiger had previously revealed how Madrid initially made their first move for him almost a year ago.
He said: “The first time they contacted my agent was in September of last year.
“The second time, in April, when I spoke with [Carlo] Ancelotti.
“This was the most important moment as it was at this moment that I decided to play for Madrid.”
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