ANTONIO RUDIGER has dismissed the theory that Government sanctions are behind his decision to quit Chelsea.
The German defender is leaving for Real Madrid on a free transfer once the Premier League season finishes on Sunday week.
Strict rules imposed due to owner Roman Abramovich’s links to Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin have banned Chelsea from negotiating new contracts with existing players but Rudiger insists it was other issues which stopped him staying.
But Rudiger, who suffered FA Cup Final defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, said: “There was a chance but sanctions are not the problem. I don't want to go too deep in things.
"At the end of the day it's not only about one side (helping the other), it's both sides – Chelsea have been great to me, I have been great to Chelsea.
"As always, I am very, very thankful me, my family. I became a man here. My kids were born here and everything. London and especially Chelsea will always be special to me."
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"It's been five years as normal with ups and downs, but with a lot of positive things.
"That's why I'm even more frustrated because I wanted to have a different ending."
Rudiger will earn £400K a week in Madrid – eclipsing what Chelsea were prepared to pay.
He has still won every major trophy bar the EFL Cup in half a decade at Chelsea but is heartbroken at losing three FA Cup finals in a row.
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He said: “It's always difficult to say whether we are lucky or unlucky.
"For myself it's the third time, so you can't always say unlucky, unlucky, unlucky."
"We had chances, they had chances. But at the end of the day we know that penalties are always a lottery. We lost.
"At the end of the day it's about winning. It's about today, it's not about next season.
"The game was about today and it was there to take and, yeah, unfortunately we didn't."
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