Ferdinand says Dortmund sensation Bellingham ahead of Lampard, Gerrard and Scholes at his age

By Sports Desk October 05, 2022

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand declared "we haven't seen" a player like Jude Bellingham at his age after the Borussia Dortmund teenager helped guide his team to a 4-1 Champions League win at Sevilla.

Bellingham scored one and assisted one as Dortmund eased to victory in Spain on Wednesday, with other goals coming from Raphael Guerreiro, Karim Adeyemi and Julian Brandt, while Youssef En-Nesyri pulled one back for the hosts.

Bellingham, 19, who captained the Bundesliga side, became just the second teenager to score in the first three games of a Champions League campaign.

The only other player to achieve that feat is his former BVB team-mate Erling Haaland, who did so with Salzburg in the 2019-20 season.

Bellingham's tally of three Champions League goals this season is already a joint-high among English teenagers for a single campaign, along with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, back in 2004-05.

"What he's doing in his position at his age, we haven't seen," Ferdinand said, working as a pundit for BT Sport.

"The best of our generation, [Frank] Lampard, [Steven] Gerrard, [Paul] Scholes, [Patrick] Vieira, Roy Keane, they weren't doing this.

"He's still got to go on and prove it over a long period of time, but they weren't doing what he is doing right now [at the same age].

"Influencing games at this level, captaining teams at this level, and mentally this kid's a beast."

Fellow pundit and former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole added: "Along with Erling Haaland, he's the best young player in the world, that's for sure.

"I watched him play for England over the two [Nations League] games [against Italy and Germany] and he was our best player.

"His dad I believe was a semi-pro footballer so he's obviously been guided right... When we grew up with Frank [Lampard] and his dad was a footballer obviously, a top footballer, and Frank had this maturity about him... Bellingham's got that as well, coupled with his undoubted God-given talent and his drive, he's unstoppable."

Bellingham has long been linked with a move back to England, having joined Dortmund from Birmingham City in 2020, with Liverpool, Manchester City, United and Chelsea all reportedly keeping an eye on developments, along with LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

"One thing that's for sure – whoever gets him – is [his] temperament," Ferdinand said.

"When you're making big transfers and big moves like that in the spotlight, temperament is a key element you need to get right. This kid has already proved that it isn't a question mark."

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    Jude Bellingham was sent off after the final whistle after being denied a late winner in Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw at Valencia.

    The England midfielder, making his return from injury, thought he had headed home a cross deep into stoppage time at the Mestalla but the referee had already blown for full time.

    Real players surrounded the official in a chaotic aftermath and Bellingham was shown the red card before the players left the field.

    It made for a dramatic ending to a compelling LaLiga clash in which the leaders had fought back from 2-0 down with two Vinicius Junior goals.

    Valencia had stunned Carlo Ancelotti’s side by pouncing on two mistakes to score twice in quick succession through Hugo Duro and Roman Yaremchuk.

    The result meant Real missed the chance to move nine points clear at the top and second-placed Girona will have the chance to cut the gap when they play Mallorca on Sunday.

    It was an emotional night for Valencia, who were returning to action for the first time since a deadly fire in their city, with tributes paid to victims and other people affected before kick-off.

    The game got off to a slow start as the visitors struggled to create any meaningful opportunities despite dominating possession.

    It was not until the 23rd minute that Real caused any alarm in the Valencia box as Vinicius, returning to a ground where he was racially abused last season, went down under a challenge from Dimitri Foulquier. No penalty was given.

    Valencia took the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute after Real lost possession.

    There was an element of fortune about it as Foulquier crossed to the far post and Fran Perez miskicked his attempt to clip back across goal. Duro, who had not been expecting the ball, reacted quickly to head home.

    Dani Carvajal then compounded the setback moments later with an underhit backpass that Yaremchuk seized upon to round Andriy Lunin and slot in.

    Real recovered and Bellingham, back in the side after three weeks out, created a chance for Federico Valverde but Giorgi Mamardashvili was equal to his effort.

    The pressure paid off in first-half stoppage time as a Carvajal cross took deflections off a defender and Mamardashvili and found its way to Vinicius for a simple tap-in.

    Real upped the tempo after the break and Vinicius lashed a shot wide before Bellingham, who has enjoyed a stunning first season at the Spanish giants, wrong-footed the defence and forced Mamardashvili to save with his legs.

    Diego Lopez brought a good save from Lunin at the other end but further Real pressure paid off when Vinicius rose to head in a Brahim Diaz cross.

    There was a long delay late on after Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby suffered a serious-looking injury and was carried off on a stretcher.

    Real had a scare in stoppage time when Valencia were awarded a penalty for a foul on Duro by Nacho but the decision was overturned by VAR.

    It was not the end of the drama but Bellingham’s effort came too late to count.

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    Antetokounmpo surpassed the 40-point mark for the eighth time this season, also adding 16 rebounds and six assists, as the Bucks recorded their fifth straight victory.

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    "We're winning games, but for us, it's not about that right now," Rivers said. "Our whole key is getting ready. That's the first thing I told the players. 

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    He even went as far as to say City’s 4-0 demolition of Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League semi-finals was “the best quality of football I’ve ever seen”.

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    The City manager, whose side host United on Sunday, said: “I just say thank you so much.

    “Sometimes they are more than the titles, the compliments of the personalities that make this country, like Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s comments. It is a complete honour for us.

    “One can produce emotions and feelings for the players and our rivals. That helps to do our job. Thank you so much on behalf of all of us.

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    He said: “Do you remember when United went to Anfield this season? Last season it was 7-0.

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    “In different situations, with City in the position of United, I know my players would behave at Old Trafford with pride and the best character. It is going to happen to United on Sunday.

    “It will be a tough game, another final for us. I know how difficult it will be.

    “It has been more difficult here than at Old Trafford in our period together. We lost more (derby) games here than Old Trafford. We have to perform really well to do it.”

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