This article first appeared on ESPN FC in March 2017.
Antonio Rudiger has been attracting the interest of the Premier League's elite, and Chelsea in particular. A few months back, sources told ESPN FC that Manchester City, United and Chelsea scouts all watched him play for Germany against England.
The 24-year-old Roma defender already has plenty of admirers, but here are five things to know about him.
1. He grew up on the streets of Berlin and played for Borussia Dortmund's academy
Germany won the European Under-21 Championship in Poland and the Confederations Cup in Russia within the space of 48 hours at the weekend. Glory at the latter tournament was sealed despite head coach Joachim Low's decision to rest key senior players such as Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos, Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer.
It was a show of force for German football, and while it opens doors for youngsters looking to break through, other more established players will now be feeling...
The 2017 Confederations Cup is over and Germany are the champions. But who were the standout performers in the tournament? Here is our best XI.
Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo (Chile)
It was no fault of Bravo's that he ended up on the losing side in the final -- indeed, he made a couple of useful saves to keep Chile in the game as Germany stretched them on the break -- but his major contribution in the tournament came four days previous. Three penalty saves in the semifinal shootout against Portugal took...
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia -- On a day when they were frustrated, intimidated and pegged back by the red horde in front of them, Germany kept their nerve, hunkered down and punished an opponent's mistake for a 1-0 win that sealed the country's first Confederations Cup trophy.
It's what you'd call a veteran performance, borne out of age-old experience and tactical savvy -- except this German side has an average age of 23 and had hardly played together until 3½ weeks ago.
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia -- In the 61st minute of the Confederations Cup final, Serbian referee Milorad Mazic was given the opportunity to transform elite-level football and drag it into the 21st century alongside every other major sport, but in front of a global TV audience of millions watching Germany defeat Chile 1-0, he blew it.
With one simple decision, Mazic inflicted huge damage to the credibility of FIFA's video assistant referee (VAR) system and left those watching in a state of bewilderment...