‘I nearly missed out on winning Champions League with Chelsea because of Frank Lampard’ | Football | Sport

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A former Chelsea star who helped them to Champions League glory almost left the club because of Frank Lampard. Defender Antonio Rudiger played over 200 matches for the London club during five seasons, but was left in the cold by Lampard.

The German central defender was a popular signing after moving to Stamford Bridge from Roma for an initial £29million in 2017. Rudiger won the FA Cup and Europa League in his first two seasons before Lampard was appointed boss.

The following season he played substantially fewer matches and has now said that he wanted to leave and join Thomas Tuchel at Paris Saint-Germain. During an interview with Goal he said: “To be honest, I still can’t say exactly what happened back then. That’s part of football. Maybe he (Lampard) had other ideas or saw other players better.

“But the good thing about football is that the answer is on the pitch and I think I gave the perfect one. I really wanted to leave. I wanted to leave. I wanted to join Thomas Tuchel at Paris Saint-Germain, that was my wish.

“But it didn’t happen and six months later Tuchel came from PSG to Chelsea. We then won the Champions League together. It was probably meant to be.” After Lampard’s departure, Rudiger became a regular starter again, helping Chelsea to Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup honours.

Rudiger added: “I probably just fitted in better with his (Tuchel’s) idea of football and he also really liked me as a guy. That I can take the lead and lead the way. I even played under Lampard again at the end of his tenure.

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