Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger was mobbed by fans as he arrived in Sierra Leone to launch his foundation.
The 28-year-old took advantage of the Premier League winter break to ‘recharge his batteries’ ahead of a crucial stretch of the season and also to set up his non-governmental organization.
The Germany international flew to the African nation to launch The Antonio Rudiger Foundation for Sierra Leone on Monday and his arrival was met by overexcited fans. Rudiger’s parents come from Sierra Leone and he is also trying for FIFA to register him to play for Sierra Leone’s soccer team Leone Stars.
Rudiger posted a video to Twitter on Tuesday which showed him being swarmed by fans in Freetown, the Sierra Leonean capital.
The German shared the clip with the caption: ‘I’m speechless – these people are crazy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this overwhelming welcome, Sierra Leone. God bless you all.’ The footage shows a large crowd of people gathered outside a building, dancing as music is played in the background.
The Chelsea star can then be seen trying to make his way out a building as police officers attempt to hold back the crowds.
But one fan slipped through their defense, wrapped his arms around Rudiger’s neck and tried to cling on to his back before he was pulled away.
Chelsea team-mate Trevoh Chalobah jokingly replied to the post that the fan ‘wanted a piggyback’. Rudiger was then herded through the mob of fans by a host of officers and security guards to a waiting vehicle. The Chelsea star later played beach soccer with youths and fans in Freetown.