'Something special': Chelsea defender raves about 21-year-old talent who he loves to watch

Antonio Rudiger didn’t hold back in his compliments for Joao Felix on the eve before facing off against him and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, speaking in the latest Chelsea press conference.

Rudiger will go toe-to-toe with Madrid’s Portuguese prodigy later today at Stamford Bridge in the round of 16 second-leg tie.

Chelsea secured a crucial away goal in the reverse clash last month, owed to a piece of individual brilliance from Olivier Giroud.

Felix was extremely quiet in that fixture, muted by Rudiger and his defensive compatriots.

Photo by Stefan Constantin/MB Media/Getty Images

Madrid’s 21-year-old superstar will have plenty to prove in London this evening, to his manager and the global audience watching on in anticipation.

If he and Luis Suarez are at their talented, tenacious best on the night, the Blues could have serious problems.

This was recognised by Rudiger, who highlighted Felix as a serious threat alongside his Uruguayan strike partner.   

He said: “It is not only Luis Suarez, as you mentioned. It is also Joao Felix, who I think is a great young talent and a good young prospect.

“As you said, he is a different kind of player but a player that I love to watch. His technique. He has something special.”

Photo by Cristi Preda/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Suarez and Rudiger got to know each other extremely well in Bucharest back when Chelsea and Madrid first met.

Both will relish the challenge of contesting with each other once more.

However, the German will now have to be wary of Felix joining in on the fight.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.