Wilson & Antonio both say Chelsea player absolutely loves a 'fight' and constantly trash talks on the pitch

Callum Wilson and Michail Antonio both agreed on the challenges Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has given them over the years.

Speaking on their own podcast, the Newcastle United and West Ham United forwards discussed the difficulties of playing against Rudiger.

Rudiger is a rock

Very few players can claim to have walked away from a battle with the German international without a few bumps and bruises.

The 29-year-old loves an old-school rough and tumble-style duel with an opposing attacker.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND – MARCH 05: Burnley’s Wout Weghorst holds off Chelsea’s Saul Niguez and Antonio Rudiger during the Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor on March 5, 2022 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dave Howarth – CameraSport via Getty Images)

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He enjoys it even more if his opponent dishes it out just as well.

But Rudiger isn’t simply just a tackling and heading robot.

His range of passing is extremely impressive for a centre-back, plus not many love a mazy dribble or long-range shot like him.

It wouldn’t be too controversial to say he is the full package in terms of a modern centre-half.

Pace, power, passion; the former Roma centurion has got the lot.

Just ask any of the Premier League strikers who have been unfortunate enough to come into his stratosphere.

Antonio and Wilson wax-lyrical

“I do love a fight. So you get in there, I barge him, he barges me. He wins one, I win one,” admitted Antonio.

“A good player in the modern-day who enjoys it as much as we love it, is probably Rudiger,” replied Wilson.

“He’s one player who loves to wrestle with you, loves to fight with you on the pitch, and then you are kind of like ‘I’ve met my match here today’.

“He’s a good player to have battles against to be fair.

Antonio continued the appraisal, saying: “He’s my boy to be fair. I know him, he’s cool – such a cool guy. He will talk to me during the game, he’ll go ‘don’t try that, not with me’.

Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images

“I remember one time I knocked it down the line for him and man is quick! He’s actually quick.

“So I knocked it down the line and we’re both running and I’ve gone shoulder to shoulder with him. It was even, nobody lost! And he’s like ‘not with me, not with me my G’.

“He’s one person who to be fair who always talks on the pitch. He loves trash-talking,” mentioned Wilson.  

“But like anyone I have spoken to says he’s such a nice guy off the pitch and that’s on the pitch he’s like someone who you hate.

“It’s like he’s so annoying and frustrating, but that’s a sign of a top centre-half.”

This is coming from two of the toughest number nines in the division.

Wilson and Antonio certainly do not mess around in the gym, so to hear them talk about Rudiger’s physical presence speaks volumes.

Any of you boys fancy an arm-wrestling competition?!

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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.