RIO FERDINAND was left flabbergasted when Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti dropped Antonio Rudiger for Eder Militao against Manchester City.

The Italian opted to bench Rudiger for Militao ahead of tonight’s clash with Manchester City, despite the German’s excellent performance against Erling Haaland last week.

Rio Ferdinand was shocked that Antonio Rudiger was dropped


Rio Ferdinand was shocked that Antonio Rudiger was droppedCredit: Getty
Carlo Ancelotti's side were dumped out of the Champions League


Carlo Ancelotti’s side were dumped out of the Champions LeagueCredit: AP

Militao had been suspended for the 1-1 Bernabeu first leg, but was restored to play alongside David Alaba tonight.

Ahead of the match, Ferdinand questioned Ancelotti for dropping Rudiger.

Asked why the Italian made the call, the former Manchester United star said: “I actually don’t know.

“I finished watching that game (the first leg) thinking: ‘Have we finally seen a defender who can deal with Haaland?’

Forgotten ex-Man Utd star signed by Ferguson wakes up unemployed at 29
Premier League: Claim £30 in free football accas when you bet £10 at Ladbrokes

“Sometimes you think to yourself, if he’s got his number, you have to go with your instincts. Ancelotti’s gone with someone he knows, who’s tried and tested, and obviously they won it last year with Militao.

“He’s been integral to everything that’s been good about them in the last season or so. So he’s gone back to what he knows.

“But I think it’s a massive call. And if it goes wrong, that’s something where the media in Spain will be honing in on.

“How can you drop someone who’s done so well against their talisman?”

Most read in Champions League


Antonio Rudiger relished his battle with Erling Haaland last week


Antonio Rudiger relished his battle with Erling Haaland last weekCredit: Rex

The decision went on to be a disastrous one, with City mauling Real Madrid 4-0 to book their place in the Champions League final.

A double by Bernardo Silva set City on their way, before further goals by Manuel Akanji and Julian Alvarez added gloss to the scoreline.

Michael Owen tried to justify Ancelotti’s call, adding: “You can argue Militao has been (Ancelotti’s) main man, has been his go to guy all season.

“All of a sudden because of one good performance, you’re going to leave him out?

“If I was in his shoes, I’d be thinking: “I’ve only been out a game or so, I’ve done the business all season”. But whatever it is, it’s a huge call.”

Prior to the match, Joleon Lescott admitted: “From a Man City perspective, I’m glad Militao is playing. He’s got the same level of aggression as Rudiger but less emotional control.

“I think he plays to his strengths. With Rudiger, he was focused on stopping Haaland but with Militao he’ll want to be Man of the Match and I think sometimes that can cause harm to other team-mates.”

Fans were also left baffled by Ancelotti’s decision – with one even calling for him to be SACKED.

They tweeted: “Rudiger man marked Haaland for 90 mins only to be benched for Militao. If Madrid loses today, Ancelotti must be sacked asap. I rest my case.”

A second wrote: “this might lowkey be the biggest mistake man.”

Little-known TV licence rule could save you up to £159 a year
Woman left unable to talk properly after her new dentures arrive totally uneven

While a third commented: “I think Ancelotti helped make City’s win easy by dropping Rudiger for Militao.”

Another added: “Ancelotti’s loyalty towards Militao cost Madrid dearly tonight. Rudiger was arguably the best player in the first leg.”

Eder Militao had a night to forget against Manchester City


Eder Militao had a night to forget against Manchester CityCredit: EPA

Source link