Antonio Rüdiger: 'If Mbappé tries to pass me, I will smash him.'

Antonio Rüdiger shut down Erling Haaland and is now aiming to shut down Kylian Mbappé.

Rüdiger has been in incredible form with Real Madrid this season (taking the reigns of the central defense following the injuries of teammates Eder Militão and David Alaba), leading the team to a very likely LaLiga title as well as to a spot in the UEFA Champions League semifinals through the deciding kick in a penalty shoot-out.

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He’s a bad man.

Now, after very noticeably 'shutting down' Haaland in both of their Champions League quarterfinal ties against Manchester City — holding the Norwegian striker to practically zero opportunities at goal — the German defender now has his eyes set on who he’s planning to shut down if Real Madrid were to make the final. None other than Kylian Mbappé.

Antonio Rüdiger Mbappé quote: “If he tries to pass me, I will smash him.”

He did not hold back.

In an interview for French media outlet Carré, Rüdiger was asked about the possibility of facing Paris Saint-Germain in the final and what the outcome would be of having to defend Mbappé. The answer? In pure Rüdiger fashion.

“If I play against Mbappé in the [Champions League] final, we will beat him. If Mbappé passes me, I will smash him,” said the Real Madrid defender.

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The interviewer then asked Rüdiger if he ‘still has Mbappé in his pocket’ after the Germany-France clash last March that saw the Germans come out on top with a 2-0 scoreline, with Rüdiger rejecting the idea of people saying this, praising the star French player.

“I find it a bit disrespectful to speak like this because we talk about a player who is great. Everyone is trying to do their best so keep this ‘pocket’ thing for the social media world,” said the German defender.

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“He’s special. He won the World Cup at the age of 18, so that already made him special and I think he can become France’s best player.”

Before preparing another clash against the French forward the 31-year-old will have to get past Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals, with Mbappé’s PSG facing off against Borussia Dortmund in the other tie.

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