Antonio Rudiger praised N'Golo Kante in his goodbye message to Chelsea

Antonio Rudiger has confirmed that he will be leaving Chelsea Football Club this summer.

We’ve all essentially known for weeks that the centre-back will join Real Madrid on a free transfer, but the man himself hadn’t made the news of his exit official until now.

On Friday morning, Rudiger’s entry for The Players Tribune titled ‘Dear Chelsea’ went live and for the very first line, he wrote: “I don’t like goodbyes. But I will try to make this one special, from the heart.”

The former AS Roma man then went on to wax lyrical about one footballer who basically everybody adores: N’Golo Kante.

Rudiger has told a wonderful story about the start of his sporting relationship with the Frenchman, as well as revealing more information about his famous Mini Cooper.

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Antonio Rudiger in action with Chelsea
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 19: Antonio Ruediger of Chelsea celebrates after scoring their side’s third goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 19, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Rudiger’s brilliant story about Kante

I have to tell a quick story about one of the nicest guys in football. I am speaking, of course, about N’Golo Kante.

Before I came to Chelsea, I had heard all the beautiful stories about him. They said he is always smiling. They said he still drives an old Mini Cooper. They said he never raises his voice. But you know how it goes in football, right? No one is really like that. There is too much pressure, too much disappointment. We are all human. No one is that cool all the time. It’s impossible. 

Then I met N’Golo. 

Everything I said to this guy, he would just look at me and nod his head, like he thought everything I said was really interesting. And he would do this thing … I don’t really know how to explain it on paper. You have to hear it. Every time I’m talking, he would go *click, click, click* with his mouth.

“Hey NG, do you want to go get some food?”

“Click, click.” 

“NG, when you press him….”

“Click, clock, click.”

Man, I literally thought there was something wrong with him. One day, I finally asked him, “NG, why do you talk like that? What’s going on with you, brother?” 

He said, “Sorry?”

I said, “The clicks, bro!!! What’s wrong with you?”

He was smiling. 

He said, “Ahhh, it’s just my neighborhood.” 

See, in the banlieue where he grew up in Paris, they always make this sound. It’s like slang for “yes.” I don’t know how it started, but that’s what they do there. It’s like saying, “Yeah, yeah, O.K., cool.” And I thought it was so funny, because I’m from a similar type of neighborhood in Germany, but I’d never heard anything like that in my life. The whole time, I thought he was messing with me!!!

N'Golo Kante with the Champions League trophy
PORTO, PORTUGAL – MAY 29: Ngolo Kante of Chelsea celebrates with the Champions League Trophy following their team’s victory during the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at Estadio do Dragao on May 29, 2021 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Thought you couldn’t love Kante any more? Well, you were wrong.

And just wait until you read Rudiger’s words on the famous Mini Cooper…

Rudiger on Kante’s famous Mini Cooper

Everything with NG is authentic. Even the Mini Cooper — people laugh about it, but there is a real story behind it. It was a dream for NG to make it to the Premier League, coming from where he came from, and the Mini was the first car that he bought when he got to England. So for him, it is not just a car. It has a deep meaning.

Of course, the boys always joke with him about it, but I am telling you — this man is so polite that he just tells you what you want to hear.

Someone will say, “NG, you know what car is really cool? A Mercedes, bro. I can see you whippin’ a black Mercedes.” 

And NG will just look at them genuinely and say, “Yes, O.K. We will think about it. Thank you, that’s a good idea.” 

But he’s just playing with you!!! At the end of the day, you know that you’re going to be seeing that Mini at the training ground for the next 10 years.

I tell people all the time…

There is humble. And there is humble. And then there is NG.

What a man.

The 2021/22 season has unfortunately been a tough one for Kante, with injuries severely restricting his game time.

Maybe those years of covering enough distance in a match for three players have finally taken their toll on the 31-year-old’s body.

We really do hope it’s not the beginning of the end for Kante at the very highest level…

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