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.


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“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

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