Jude Bellingham was arguably Real Madrid’s best player on the field against Athletic Club. The English midfielder was playing his first official game for Los Blancos but did not show any sign of being under pressure.
In 90 minutes, the 20-year-old scored one goal, provided one key pass and completed close to 85% of his passes. Moreover, he completed three dribbles and won a staggering 13 duels on the night, earning praise from manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Speaking to the media after the game, the former Borussia Dortmund star first burst out in emotion and expressed his feeling following the stellar debut performance.
“This match was very special for me and the most important thing is the victory. I was fortunate to score. It’s three points to start the season with.”
Real Madrid put two goals past Athletic Club last night, but Bellingham insisted that the scoreline could have been more dominant.
“We dominated and made a lot of chances. In the second half, we found it a bit difficult and we had to battle. We defended and played really well on the counter-attack and we could’ve scored more goals,” he said
The young midfielder also explained his goal-scoring moment in detail and even went on to engage in self-criticism over his shot.
“If you shoot you have a chance to score. I didn’t connect well with the ball, but I was fortunate that it went in and it came off.”
Finally, the man of the moment revealed how he felt playing for Real Madrid and sharing the dressing room with some of the best in the business.
“I really enjoy playing with my teammates because of what they do with and without the ball. It’s a pleasure to be with them and it makes me smile to play with them. I’m very pleased with the win and the goal.”
Source: Real Madrid website
Real Madrid full-back never considered summer exit, would retire at club if given chance
Ferland Mendy finds himself in a difficult situation at Real Madrid. The Frenchman has struggled with injury and fitness woes for a large part of the past year, leading to doubts over his future at the club.
In fact, it had been reported that Los Blancos were considering selling Mendy during the summer transfer window earlier this year itself.
But, such a move did not materialise and the 28-year-old has stayed put at the Santiago Bernabeu although reports suggest that he is likely to be on the move next year.
Mendy would retire at Real Madrid if he could
Despite there having been numerous reports about his future in the summer, The Athletic reports that Mendy did not consider the possibility of an exit at any point.
In fact, the report adds that if given a chance, the 28-year-old defender would retire at Real Madrid.
Mendy’s contract with Los Merengues expires in 2025 and he is understood to be seeking a renewal for a while now, but there has been no move made by the club.
The injuries that the 28-year-old has picked up are understood to be a major deterrent for Real Madrid, which is why they are already looking to reinforce the left-back position with Alphonso Davies next year.
Mendy enjoys Ancelotti’s trust
Despite the non-stop speculations surrounding him, Mendy continues to enjoy the full trust of manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Indeed, as per the report, the Italian tactician has informed the Frenchman that he is the left-back that best fits the defensive requirements needed in the team.
Ancelotti’s decision to bench Fran Garcia in the UEFA Champions League game even though Mendy was unavailable and start David Alaba at left-back was taken as an indicator within the dressing room that the Frenchman remains the first-choice in the position.
So, it remains to be seen how the situation unfolds over the coming months, especially with Ancelotti’s future also uncertain as his contract expires in 2024.