Premier League

‘We can learn a lot’

Antonio Rudiger

Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger has admitted there are things that Germany can learn from the 15-time European champions ahead of Euro 2024 on home soil this summer.

Rudiger collected the second Champions League medal of his career last Saturday as Madrid weathered Borussia Dortmund’s first half storm to eventually prevail at Wembley.

A resilient Madrid have made a habit of grinding out results in recent years and finding ways to win, no matter the level of their overall performance. That was also evident in the semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich when two late Joselu goals turned certain elimination into progression.

It is a quality that Rudiger hasn’t seen enough of at international level, with Germany under huge pressure to perform after a string of disappointingly early tournament exits.

“We can adapt that killer instinct,” the centre-back admitted at a press conference on Wednesday, referencing the goal-less stalemate against Ukraine in a warm-up friendly two days earlier.

Antonio Rudiger

Rudiger has been to the top of the mountain with Real Madrid / Alex Livesey – Danehouse/GettyImages

Germany dominated the game but struggled to break down their opponent. They got closer to scoring in the second half when debutant Maximilian Beier came off the bench, but had to settle for a draw in the end as the Euro opener against Scotland on 14 June gets nearer.

“I haven’t seen such a good 0-0 in a while. We missed some goals, but we can learn a lot from Madrid,” Rudiger, who was unavailable fo the game due to his Champions League final participation, explained.

“We must be humble. We all know what has happened in the last tournaments,” he added.

As reigning champions, Germany suffered the humiliation of a group stage exit at the 2018 World Cup, their worst display on the global stage since 1938. Four years later, lightning unthinkably struck twice, while their Euro 2020 campaign had ended in the first knockout round.


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