Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger channelled his inner Messi with Champions League run vs Zenit

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Antonio Rudiger is a man on a mission at Chelsea.

It's crazy to think that the German international appeared to be on the brink of leaving Stamford Bridge less than a year ago with his game-time under Frank Lampard continuing to take a slide.

However, the transition of power in west London has reignited Rudiger's career in English football, playing a crucial role on the left side of a centre-back trio under Thomas Tuchel.

Rudiger under Thomas Tuchel

Playing under the intricate and detailed system of his compatriot has allowed Rudiger to really reinvent himself and play an almost unique role amongst Premier League centre-halves.

And one way in which Rudiger expresses his idiosyncratic talents and responsibilities is by using the security of having two centre-backs to his right-hand side to make marauding runs forward.

Yes, that's right, we're sure a couple of examples are already coming to find where Rudiger has simply put his foot on the accelerator and made a banzai run deep into the opposition's half.

LUKAKU is WORLD CLASS! Chelsea 1-0 Zenit (Football Terrace)

Chelsea vs Zenit St. Petersburg

We hope Rudiger won't mind us saying that these runs can often look haphazard and uncoordinated with heavy touches and unexpected skills, but make no mistake that they can be extremely potent.

And that couldn't have been clearer than during Chelsea's 1-0 Champions League win over Zenit St. Petersburg when Rudiger went on a run that could have bagged him the 'Goal of the Season' prize.

That's because the 28-year-old made a fantastic driving run from his own half, showing superb intelligence in movement and deftness in control, that brought him all the way to the Zenit box.

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Rudiger's superb run vs Zenit

From that point onwards, buoyed by the encouragement of the Stamford Bridge faithful, Rudiger displayed his best footwork yet and proceeded to get a shot off on goal against Stanislav Kritsyuk.

Sadly, the end product was a wayward one with Rudiger's strike finding its home in the advertising hoardings, but it was a spectacular run nonetheless, so be sure to check it out down below:

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call a solo run.

Rudiger's deadly runs

Either Rudiger thought he was the second coming of Lionel Messi by the time he had reached the halfway line or he was hellbent on recreating Kurt Zouma's iconic run against Ajax.

Then again, perhaps neither are true, because although Rudiger's marauding runs can look ragged around the edges at time, there's no denying that they make for a deadly weapon for Chelsea.

And while it might not have featured in an all-too spectacular performance from the Blues, it was certainly one of their best chances in a game that was ultimately won by Romelu Lukaku.

So, who knows, given all the excitement around Chelsea right now perhaps there's good reason to think that they might put a fantastically daring run together just like their very own Rudiger.

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