How Haaland was neutralized by Rudiger in the Champions League semi-final

On the day Eder Militao was absent due to suspension, Antonio Rudiger successfully completed the replacement task when successfully blocking the spearhead Erling Haaland.

At the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on the night of May 9, Vinicius Junior played against Haaland. All the lights are on them. The whole world is watching. In the end, the match ended with a 1-1 draw. Vinicius shines with a beautiful goal. On the other side of the line, Haaland muted his voice.

Haaland, who is likened to a robot, is disabled. The steel wall erected by Real Madrid showed the effectiveness of the central defender pair David Alaba and especially Rudiger playing too well, making the Norwegian spearhead become a faint shadow of himself.

Rudiger is Haaland’s nemesis
Before the ball rolled, the Spanish media paid special attention to Haaland, calling this player a brave “tyrant”, a striker born to break records. Fans even compared Haaland to Superman.

That comparison is not an exaggeration. A striker who scored 51 goals in 47 games deserves respect. But in Madrid, Rudiger turned from a supporting actor to the main actor with a performance that pushed Haaland into the backstage curtain.

Rudiger followed Haaland as pictured with shadow. The moment the former Chelsea star hugs his opponent from behind, constantly taking action to follow every move is going viral on social networks. That image also encapsulates what happens at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid has a specific plan to capture Haaland. Midfielder pair Fededrico Valverde and Toni Kroos received the task of severing the link between Kevin de Bruyne and Haaland. Right behind them, Alaba and Rudiger both kept their eyes on Haaland.

As a result, Haaland had a rough day. All his actions and movements were followed closely by Rudiger and Alaba. In the 52nd minute, the Man City striker escaped the siege, but Alaba was present in time to cut the ball to prevent the opponent’s finish.

The whole match, Haaland’s influence on the offensive front of Man City was almost negligible. He only touched the ball 21 times, a number lower than goalkeeper Ederson (29). Rodrygo Goes and Karim Benzema even touched the ball 37 times, according to statistics from WhoScored.

Haaland also made only 12 passes, of which 9 times the ball found exactly the same teammate. The score of the former Norwegian star created in this match is 3 times to recover the ball. It doesn’t take a genius IQ to see that Real Madrid succeed in stopping Haaland.

Rudiger had a good game. He did what the defense of Leipzig and Bayern could not, which was to silence Haaland. AS journalist Fernando S.Tavero has a very interesting comparison, calling Rudiger like kryptonite, and Haaland as Superman.

If Superman is near kryptonite, he is nearly incapacitated, in pain, or possibly even dead. In other words, kryptonite is the fatal weakness of the Man of Steel.

Rudiger’s high-class football came at the moment when Real Madrid needed it most. Carlo Ancelotti understands that to stop Haaland he will need a system where individuals must present themselves at the highest level. Rudiger does this.


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