Jude Bellingham relishing chance to play part in ‘brilliant’ Real Madrid history

By Sports Desk July 03, 2023

Jude Bellingham has set his sights on sitting alongside the greats of Real Madrid’s history following his dream move to the Spanish giants.

Bellingham sealed a 103million euros (£88.5m) transfer to the Bernabeu from Borussia Dortmund last month, cementing his position as one of the hottest young talents in Europe.

The 20-year-old is aware of the list of stars that have pulled on the famous white shirt over the years, previously citing Zinedine Zidane as a role model, but is targeting a long and successful career of his own.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jude Bellingham (@judebellingham)

 

“That is the motivation for the move in the first place, I want to be at a club that is going to be competing for titles and I want to try and help the team and club be as brilliant as it has been for all of time really,” he told the PA news agency.

“Now is my chance to be part of that history and that goes hand in hand because I know the club wants to win and I want to win so hopefully it will happen.

“It grabs you on its own, the size of the club is already surreal when you think about it, but when you add into that the project they have got in place, it was really important I made this step because it is just the place to be for me.”

For most, the prospect of joining Real Madrid in a big-money move at such a young age would be daunting, but Bellingham’s journey has stood him in good stead.

Having made his debut for Birmingham as a 16-year-old and then joining Dortmund one year later, he has done things differently.

And that means the price tag certainly will not weigh heavy on him.

“I have had a very different experience to most young players, especially young English players,” he said.

“My journey has taken me to three different countries, without playing in the Premier League, so it is very different.

“I am always reminded of it when I am away with the national team and see the journeys of the other players.

“But it is something I am really proud of, the risks I have taken and long may it continue. I just try and take everything in my stride really.

“Pressure has followed me everywhere to this point. I was 15 and 16 when I started playing with the first team at Birmingham and felt that like a pressure that could be matched by no other really, so at each stage of my life the pressure has increased.

“Until now I have always proved I can handle it and if I was worried about it I probably wouldn’t have made the move.

“Because I know I have the right people around me to support me through it I think it is a great fit.”

Bellingham may now be one of the most recognisable names in the game, but it was not too long ago that he was playing on the parks of Stourbridge as a child.

He is now an ambassador for McDonald’s Fun Football programme, the largest grassroots programme in the UK for 5-11 year olds, where 250,000 children have had access to free football in the last 12 months.

Bellingham added: “This is massively important, you look around and see the environment that McDonald’s has created, all these girls and boys, whatever ages, just coming together and playing football without pressure and with loads of smiles. It’s a great initiative and to celebrate 250,000 kids being given the opportunity to play football this season is just brilliant. We’ve had a great day.

“I remember my mum and dad taking me to stuff like this all the time, where it is just about enjoyment.

“These are the kind of days that properly get you into the game, I am not looking around thinking, ‘I wonder who is going to be the next superstar’ but you never know how it affects the mindset of one of these kids, in terms of chasing the dream of being a footballer.”

::Jude Bellingham was speaking at the largest ever McDonald’s Fun Football session to celebrate the landmark of over 250,000 children across the UK benefiting from access to free football this season. Sign up to a free session near you at www.mcdonalds.co.uk/football

Related items

  • Milan and Italy legend Gattuso appointed Hadjuk Split coach in surprise move Milan and Italy legend Gattuso appointed Hadjuk Split coach in surprise move

    Former Milan and Italy great Gennaro Gattuso has completed a surprise move to Hadjuk Split, taking over as head coach in Croatia.

    Gattuso, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, has signed a two-year deal with the Croatian giants.

    The 46-year-old will be officially welcomed at Poljud next week after Split announced his appointment on Wednesday.

    Gattuso's coaching career began as player-coach of his final club, Sion of the Swiss Super League, and he also had short spells in charge of Palermo and OFI Crete.

    The former midfielder then led Pisa to Serie B promotion before taking charge of old club Milan and subsequently joining Napoli, where he won the Coppa Italia in 2020.

    Short tenures followed with Fiorentina, Valencia and Marseille before his sacking from the Ligue 1 side in February.

  • Southgate succession plan in place after Euro 2024 despite no approaches for England boss Southgate succession plan in place after Euro 2024 despite no approaches for England boss

    England have started to plan for life after Gareth Southgate but Football Association executive Mark Bullingham insists no approach has been made for the manager, nor has his future been decided.

    The Three Lions boss raised questions over his future after German media outlet BILD published an interview this week from Southgate, who suggested Euro 2024 this month is his last chance with England.

    Manchester United were reportedly interested in the 53-year-old as well before reaffirming their commitment to under-fire manager Erik ten Hag.

    As the European Championship awaits in Germany, Bullingham sought to ease any fears over the future of Southgate, though reiterated the FA has already thought through a succession plan.

    "Gareth has been really, really clear that he wants to talk about that after the tournament," Bullingham said.

    "And I don't want to provide any distraction for him and the team, and I want to respect the fact that he wants to talk about the future after the tournament.

     "I've seen some things about, 'Have we got a plan, haven't we?' Any organisation has a succession plan in place for their top employees, and we are no different to that.

    "A succession plan normally includes everything from what you do for the short-term cover, through to a process you follow, through to [drawing up] a candidate pool. We have that for all our top employees."

    Bullingham also assured that Southgate's future will not be dictated by success at Euro 2024, with the manager's contract set to expire in December.

    "[The team] could go further but be playing poorly or have a really unlucky result where you get a couple of red cards and hit the woodwork three times," the FA chief added.

    "I think setting an arbitrary figure isn't the right way to go. I think we step back and look at everything after the tournament."

    In a staunch defence of Southgate, Bullingham lauded the job the former England international has done, guiding the Three Lions to the Euro 2020 final and World Cup semi-finals in 2018.

    "I would say I think the world of Gareth, I think he has done a phenomenal job," Bullingham said.

    "I think he has transformed the fortunes of our team, and that's not just off the pitch, and you can see the culture, but also the performances on the pitch.

    "Since 1966, he has won about half of our knockout games, which is a measure we really use, so we value him massively."

    Should Southgate leave, Bullingham remains open to bringing in another homegrown talent to manage England.

    "We have two senior coaches," he continued. "One of them is English, one of them [England women's boss Sarina Wiegman] is not.

    "Any federation in the world would always want to have a pool of top homegrown talent playing and managing at any time."

  • Milan target Zirkzee called up for Netherlands squad at Euro 2024 Milan target Zirkzee called up for Netherlands squad at Euro 2024

    Joshua Zirkzee is reportedly drawing interest from Milan, Juventus and Manchester United, and will have the chance to further his stock after a late call-up for the Netherlands at Euro 2024.

    Oranje boss Ronald Koeman has lost Frenkie de Jong and Teun Koopmeiners, as well as midfielder Marten de Roon, in the build-up to the tournament in Germany.

    Koeman criticised former club Barcelona for their handling of the injured De Jong before Koopmeiners' absence was also confirmed this week in another blow for the Netherlands.

    Ajax forward Brian Brobbey is another said to be struggling for fitness, forcing the Dutch to act swiftly with reinforcements.

    Zirkzee's inclusion was confirmed on Wednesday as the Netherlands added the striker to their international camp ahead of their tournament opener against Poland on Sunday.

    The 23-year-old does not have a single senior cap under his belt for the Netherlands, but did score seven goals in 19 caps for the Under-21 side.

    Zirkzee found the net 12 times in 37 appearances for Bologna in the 2023-24 campaign as the Serie A side qualified for next season's Champions League.

    That form has reportedly drawn interest from Erik ten Hag's Man Utd, Juventus – who appointed Thiago Motta as their new head coach on Wednesday – and Milan.

    Ian Maatsen, who reached the Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund this year, is the other man brought in for the Netherlands to fill the void left by De Jong and Koopmeiners.

    The Netherlands also face Austria and France in Group D at Euro 2024, where Germany open the tournament against Scotland on Friday.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.