Antonio Rudiger’s departure from Chelsea at the end of the current season is no longer a surprise. According to BBC Sport, the 29-year-old has agreed to a four-year contract with Real Madrid.
Rudiger joined Chelsea from AS Roma in 2017. He has developed into one of Europe’s top defenders throughout his time in London.
In five years, he has won the FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup for Chelsea.
Rudiger isn’t the first Chelsea player to make the switch from Stamford Bridge to the Santiago Bernabeu. A few of prominent personalities have also switched sides between the two clubs in recent years.
Without further ado, here are the five other Chelsea players who have joined Los Blancos.
- Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben was the first player from Chelsea to join Real Madrid. The Blues paid PSV Eindhoven €18 million in 2004 to secure his services for then-manager Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea’s success in the mid-2000s was largely due to the Dutchman, who won two Premier League crowns, the FA Cup, two League Cups, and the Community Shield.
Real Madrid took note of Robben’s abilities and brilliance, and he signed a five-year contract with Los Blancos in August 2007. Real Madrid won La Liga in his first season in Spain, and he scored five goals in 28 games across all competitions.
- Ricardo Carvalho
Ricardo Carvalho was brought to London by Jose Mourinho from Porto, and he was also taken to Madrid from London. Carvalho joined Chelsea from Porto in 2004 and helped the club win back-to-back Premier League titles. He was also a significant player of Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea team that won the domestic double in 2009-10.
The Portuguese left Stamford Bridge at the end of the season to join Mourinho at the Santiago Bernabeu. As Madrid won the 2011-12 La Liga title with a record 100 points, Carvalho forged a strong relationship with fellow Portuguese defender Pepe.
- Micheal Essien
Another player that played for Chelsea and Real Madrid under Mourinho is Michael Essien. The dynamic defensive midfielder was an instant success with the Blues, winning the league in his first season.
During the 2012-13 season, he played for Los Blancos. Before returning to England, he scored twice in the league and made 35 appearances in all competitions during his season-long loan.
One of Chelsea’s most decorated players is the former Ghanaian international. He won the Premier League twice, the FA Cup four times, the UEFA Champions League once, and the League Cup once.
- Thibault Courtois
The transfer of Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea to Real Madrid was not well received by Chelsea supporters. Chelsea signed the 29-year-old in 2011, but he was promptly loaned to Atletico Madrid, where he spent three seasons.
He returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014 and quickly established himself as the club’s first choice. After the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Courtois was forced to transfer to Madrid, where he won two Premier League titles and the Golden Glove.
- Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard’s deal is undoubtedly the most significant between the two clubs. Hazard spent seven seasons with the Blues in England. He established himself as one of the top players in the game throughout his time with the West Londoners.
Hazard’s brilliance and elegance dazzled the Stamford Bridge crowd. He became the club’s fifth all-time leading scorer with 110 goals in 352 games, behind Bobby Tambling, Peter Osgood, Didier Drogba, and Frank Lampard.
Hazard’s playing time and performance have been limited due to recurring ailments. Since going to Spain in 2019, Hazard has only scored six goals in 65 appearances across all competitions.