Jude Bellingham focused on winning everything as he targets trophies not records

By Sports Desk June 02, 2023

Jude Bellingham says his career arc is evidence of the mindset that anything is possible as the England teenager looks to win it all.

From homegrown hero with Birmingham to teenage star at German giants Borussia Dortmund, the 19-year-old midfielder’s inexorable rise shows few signs of abating.

There are few more exciting prospects in world football than Bellingham, who has already established himself as a key component for trophy-hungry England and was named Bundesliga Player of the Year after just missing out on the league title.

“The goal has always been winning,” Bellingham told the PA news agency. “When you ask me what my biggest ambitions are in the game, it’s to win everything. And I’m not afraid to say that.

“You know, everyone should have that goal I feel like as professional footballers.

“I’ll do my best to try and make it happen and if it doesn’t then it won’t be because I haven’t worked hard for it.

“But, yeah, I’d say records and stuff and individual records don’t excite me like trophies do, so I think that’s the goal for me.”

Bellingham, who was speaking before the Bundesliga finale, knows individual honours and records may well come along the years, with England team-mates often suggesting he could break Peter Shilton’s 125-cap record given he has made 24 appearances already.

But accomplishments like that are at the back of his mind as he looks to maximise his ability and opportunities.

“Football’s my life, really,” said Bellingham, who hopes to inspire the next generation in his role as ambassador for the McDonald’s Fun Football programme – a programme that provides free, inclusive football coaching for children aged five to 11 across more than 1,500 locations in the UK.

“I think I’ve put too much into it so far just to stop and accept that I’m going to play at a certain level and only going to win so much.

“So, I feel like the mentality that my parents and friends around me have always put into me is go after everything.”

That mindset and his whirlwind journey to date means he has little chance to take stock on his career – something he hopes to do with family and friends this summer.

“There are things I had to deal with as part of German life,” Bellingham said of the move to Dortmund in 2020.

“I probably dealt with that more behind the scenes than in front of cameras and stuff like that, so I’m really grateful that I had such good people around me.

“I had good club staff at the time, obviously I had Jadon (Sancho) who was here before me from England and he kind of showed me the ropes and made me feel comfortable. As soon as I was comfortable, really, I just let my football do the talking.”

Bellingham has certainly done that, thriving in BVB’s famous black and yellow shirt with his leadership qualities helping him to become the youngest ever player to captain the side.

“I think the key to that has been availability,” Bellingham said in a self-deprecating manner.

“I think because I’m available a lot of the time it means that I’m on the pitch and I can show what I do every game. Whilst the team around me gets rotated, I’m more of a mainstay.

“I think you gain respect from that, in all honesty, and obviously my performance has been good enough to warrant that.

“The coach must have seen other things that he likes to give me that responsibility and whenever I’ve played, I don’t think the armband changes me.

“So, yeah, you’re taking a little bit more responsibility, but I enjoy it. It’s a beautiful pressure that you want on you that I wanted since I started playing football.

“Especially in the Champions League games – it’s the biggest stage, for me – and to have that pressure is really enjoyable.”

Bellingham takes a lot of pride in his path from St Andrew’s to Signal Iduna Park.

Life in Germany has been eye-opening and his success there has silenced those that attempted to dissuade him from fulfilling his lofty aspirations.

When put to Bellingham that he seems to have the mentality that anything is possible, he said: “Well, I think that I am kind evidence of that, really.

“I think if I didn’t have that mentality I wouldn’t have been able to get from the Championship to where I’m at now, thankfully, in the space of two or three years.

“When you’re saying it three years ago everyone’s calling you naive and telling you that you need to slow down a little bit.

“But when you put your mind to it and you work hard at it, it doesn’t seem so crazy when it actually happens. So that’s the goal for me to try and continue to chase my dreams.”

:: Jude Bellingham was speaking at a McDonald’s Fun Football session to announce his role as an ambassador for the UK’s largest grassroots participation programme for 5-11 year-olds. Find your nearest free session at www.mcdonalds.co.uk/football

Related items

  • JFF identifies potential candidates for Reggae Girlz head coach position; will begin interview process this week JFF identifies potential candidates for Reggae Girlz head coach position; will begin interview process this week

    The Jamaica Football Federation has reportedly identified potential candidates to fill the head coaching vacancy with the Senior Women’s National Team.

    The position was opened after the JFF decided not to renew the contract of former head coach, Lorne Donaldson, after the team lost a pair of Olympic Qualifying fixtures to Canada in September.

    “The interviewing process will begin this week, as we have received a number of applications from experienced and qualified individuals. Soon, a short list will be selected for final interviews. Importantly, this also includes the reengagement of members of the coaching and technical staff,” a post on the federation’s Instagram page stated on Monday.

    “The JFF is committed to ensuring that the women’s program is given the best opportunity to succeed and continue the significant accomplishments that have brought much pride to Jamaica,” the statement continued.

    Donaldson was appointed Reggae Girlz head coach in June 2022 and led the national women’s team to their second consecutive qualification for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. At the World Cup, he took Jamaica to a historic round of 16 after drawing with France and Brazil and defeating Panama in the group stage.

  • Jamie Carragher says VAR at a ‘crisis point’ after Liverpool offside controversy Jamie Carragher says VAR at a ‘crisis point’ after Liverpool offside controversy

    VAR is now at a “crisis point”, according to pundit and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.

    Liverpool had a Luis Diaz goal incorrectly ruled out for offside during Saturday’s Premier League defeat at Tottenham due to miscommunication between VAR Darren England and on-field referee Simon Hooper.

    The match was goalless at the time of the incident, with the Reds – who were eventually reduced to nine men – going on to lose 2-1 to an own goal from Joel Matip deep into stoppage time.

    Liverpool issued a statement on Sunday night saying they would “explore the range of options available given the clear need for escalation and resolution”.

    The PA news agency understands the Reds have now formally requested the audio of the conversation between the two from referees’ body Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).

    Former Liverpool and England defender Carragher was analysing the incident ahead of Monday night’s live Premier League game between Fulham and Chelsea at Craven Cottage.

    The Sky Sports pundit believes the whole system is now under more pressure than ever.

    “I don’t think the feeling around VAR has ever been lower – I do feel as if this is almost like a crisis point for VAR in this country,” Carragher said on Sky Sports.

    “It is not just on the back of this decision, it is what has been happening all season, like when there was a situation with Wolves against Manchester United (in the first Monday night televised match of the new season).

    “I don’t want to pile on to an official or (PGMOL chief refereeing officer) Howard Webb, I could imagine they feel absolutely awful (over) the last couple of days.

    “I am not into the conspiracy theories, that this one favours that team or another – no-one gains anything from this in terms of the officials.

    “We have all been there in our jobs and made mistakes, so I feel for them – but it is an horrendous mistake, that is unprecedented and you can’t actually quite believe the explanation that has been given.”

    PGMOL issued a statement on Saturday night acknowledging a “significant error” had occurred. Hooper and his assistants had given offside against Diaz on the field, and PA understands that although England followed the correct procedure in drawing lines, he lost focus and mistakenly thought the initial on-field decision had been onside.

    This resulted in him issuing a ‘check complete’ notice to Hooper, rather than advising of an intervention and the goal being awarded.

    Once the officials realised an error had been made, play had restarted and VAR protocols state that once that has happened, there is no way back to revisit a decision.

    Carragher, though, believes the incident could have been quickly resolved at the time.

    “They were saying they were staying with protocol about not allowing to stop the game. I don’t believe that. They panicked. They froze,” he said.

    “I know that’s the rule, but that’s a red-tape rule. If they had reversed it, we’d have been praising their leadership.

    “There’s talk that the officials didn’t know until half-time that a mistake had been made, when that ball goes out of play [after the incident] the look on that referee’s face, it’s a look of something has gone wrong.

    “I think it’s unbelievable that all the parties involved haven’t released the audio. I find it unfathomable.

    “The only way Howard Webb and PGMOL will gain any sort of credibility back was to get it out there.

    “The problem they have now is the explanation is so random and bizarre, the longer this goes on, the more people will think they’re trying to put a story together.”

  • Arsenal suffer travel delays ahead of Champions League tie in Lens Arsenal suffer travel delays ahead of Champions League tie in Lens

    Arsenal’s preparations for their first away Champions League game in six-and-a-half years were thrown into chaos due to travel delays.

    Mikel Arteta’s side face Lens in their Group B clash at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Tuesday night but had to cancel their pre-match press conference on the eve of the game.

    The Arsenal boss was due to speak to the media with France defender William Saliba at 1900 local time but their chartered flight was grounded at Luton airport.

    The Gunners had trained at London Colney at 1130BST before being due to travel to France on Monday afternoon but bad weather saw those plans cancelled.

    The PA news agency understands Arsenal will not face a fine as the cancellation was out of their control – with the squad waiting over three hours at Luton before being able to make the short hop over the channel.

    Among the travelling party stuck at Luton were Bukayo Saka – who was passed fit to travel despite limping off injured at Bournemouth on Saturday – and fit-again midfielder Thomas Partey.

    Partey had been sidelined since August with a groin injury and the club hoped to have him back for the visit of Manchester City on Sunday.

    “He’s progressed really well in the last two weeks and he managed to train in the last two or three days with the team and that’s great news for us, obviously,” Arteta said of the Ghana international.

    “I think his progression in the last week has been very good. He might have some exposure tomorrow depending how the game goes.”

    Both Arteta and Saliba later spoke to a small number of reporters over the phone and the latter insisted everything would be fine heading into the game.

    Asked if he was confident the team would still be at their best, he replied: “Yes, of course. We have to arrive first but tomorrow is another day and we will give our best against Lens.

    “It is a really good feeling. My second game in the Champions League with Arsenal. I can’t wait to play in France so it is a good feeling.

    “We know it won’t be an easy game. It is a really good team who finished second last season.

    “They didn’t start well but in the last two or three games, they are better so we have to be focused on tomorrow and give our best.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.