Chelsea enjoyed a successful year in 2021 as they won the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. It could have been better had they defeated Leicester City in the 2020/21 FA Cup final.

Antonio Rüdiger was one of the key figures for the Blues and he left them as a free agent and joined Real Madrid in the summer.

Thomas Tuchel was appointed as Frank Lampard’s successor in January 2021, and he was instrumental in Chelsea’s success last year. Earlier this month, the manager was shown the exit door and was replaced by Graham Potter.

The west London club invested over €250m in the last window and their new owner, Todd Boehly, was leading their transfer business. It was the American billionaire who sacked Tuchel and this did not please Rüdiger.

Sport1 published the second part of the interview with the Germany international, where he was asked to share his thoughts on Tuchel’s exit from Chelsea.

“First, he was allowed to bring in new players, only to be released after a few games. I was surprised at the speed. The day of his release was a sad one for me. I wrote to him afterwards and thanked him again for everything,” Rüdiger said.

“He was there for everyone, not just me. If you look at where we came from and where he took us, he did the impossible. But you know how it is in football. Sometimes you’re the hero, sometimes the bogeyman.”

On his difficult period at Chelsea, the centre-back explained: “The football business is very changeable, doors open and close quickly. Believe in yourself and have people who believe in you – that’s what matters in the end.

“At Chelsea, I had to learn it the hard way. I was always ready to play and luckily with Thomas Tuchel a coach came along who put his trust in me and showed me that I was an important player for him.

“Even as a child, my parents called me ‘Warrior’. If there’s a wall, I hit it ten times, but I get through it in the end. I’m a fighter and I’ve learned to deal with criticism over the years. Everyone can express their opinion, but what counts for me is what my coaches and team-mates think. The rest is secondary.”