Jude Bellingham ready for ‘real’ Madrid debut in Champions League

4 days ago 33

MADRID – It is almost as if the Spanish La Liga is not competitive enough for Jude Bellingham, who has taken the league by storm with five goals in five games following his €103 million (S$150 million) move from Borussia Dortmund.

Thanks to the England midfielder’s exploits since he arrived in the summer, Real Madrid boast a 100 per cent record domestically, but their season begins in earnest with the Champions League this week.

Bellingham, 20, is set to make his “second” debut for Los Blancos against Union Berlin on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu, in the competition the record 14-time European champions value above all others.

Facing a Bundesliga side, he should feel comfortable – although it is clear he has already made himself at home.

In his first appearance at the Bernabeu on Sept 2, Bellingham nearly blew the stadium’s new roof off with a last-gasp 95th-minute strike to earn Real a 2-1 win over Getafe.

Wearing the No. 5 on his back in tribute to Zinedine Zidane, he has quickly become a fan favourite.

Celebrating his goals with his arms open wide, as if to share his joy with the supporters, they have in return serenaded him with the chorus of Beatles song “Hey Jude”, which he said was a special moment.

“When they sang ‘Hey Jude’ at the end, I got goosebumps,” he told Real Madrid TV.

“I just wanted to turn and stand still and listen to it while my legs were shaking.”

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, was asked how Bellingham had clicked so quickly.

“Good players with personality suffer a bit less than the others,” said the Italian.

“There’s no other reason. A player with personality, above all, more than quality, means that an important shirt like Real Madrid’s doesn’t weigh so much.”

Thus far Ancelotti has deployed Bellingham as a No. 10, providing a strong physical presence in...

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