ANTONIO RUDIGER has posted an emotional goodbye message to Chelsea fans as he prepares to leave the club this summer.
The 28-year-old German defender looks set to join Real Madrid at the end of the season after Thomas Tuchel confirmed the Blues could not agree a new deal.
And Rudiger, who has been one of Chelsea's key players over the last 12 months, has now published a final farewell letter to the club's supporters in which he gushes about team-mate N'Golo Kante.
He speaks about Kante being the "coolest guy" and tells a story a funny story about the Chelsea midfielder clicking instead of saying "yes".
He insists that everything with the French star is "authentic" and that he is "so polite that he just tells you what you want to hear".
Rudiger also opened up about returning to the fold after being left on the sidelines for much of Frank Lampard's time in charge.
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He is incredibly grateful for Tuchel giving him a second chance and says that playing in the Champions League final last season was the "pineapple on top of the cake".
Rudiger played a key role in helping the Blues lift their second European Cup in nine years after they beat Manchester City 1-0 in the final.
Speaking about the final, he said: "The young boys played like men on the biggest stage — especially Mason.
"What a player that boy is. Seriously. Elite mentality. Sometimes I have to ask myself, 'Is this guy really that young?'
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"The way he moves, the way he carries himself, it’s not like he’s 23. Against Madrid, he was just phenomenal, and in the end, we all know what happened…"
Revealing what happened after the triumph, he went on to add: "When we got back to the dressing room, the boys were having the champagne celebration, and so a few of us who are practicing Muslims went into the bathroom to have our peace.
"Me, NG, Ziyech and Zouma locked ourselves in the toilets, and we were looking at our medals, and then looking at one another, shaking our heads.
"And I will never forget this….NG [Kante] had the biggest smile on his face.
"'Wow,' he said, 'we really did it'.”
Towards the end of the open letter to the fans, he explains the situation regarding his contract at Stamford Bridge and why he is leaving.
"Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall," he said.
"Business is business, but when you don’t hear any news from the club from August to January, the situation becomes complicated.
"After the first offer, there was a long gap of just nothing. We’re not robots, you know? You cannot wait for months with so much uncertainty about your future.
"Obviously, no one saw the sanctions coming, but in the end, other big clubs were showing interest, and I had to make a decision. I will leave it at that, because business aside, I have nothing bad to say about this club.
"Chelsea will always be in my heart. London will always be my home. I came here alone, and now I have a wife and two beautiful kids.
"I also have a new brother for life named Kova. I have an FA Cup, a Europa League and a Champions League medal. And of course, I have hundreds of memories that will stay with me forever."
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