Jude Bellingham was once again the hero last weekend when Real Madrid travelled to Catalonia to take on Barcelona.
Going by the first half alone, Los Blancos appeared completely overrun as the Blaugranas dominated the proceedings. The second half, however, saw a rejuvenated Real Madrid before Bellingham stole the show.
The youngster, who won the Kopa Trophy at the Ballon d’Or gala earlier this week, first fired an unstoppable shot from distance to equalise the scores before finding the net in extra time to give his side all three points.
Speaking in a recent interview (h/t Madrid Xtra), the Real Madrid phenom opened up about a number of football-related topics including his aspirations and current run of form.
He began with an overview of where he saw himself in five years’ time and his ambitions for the short term.
“In five years, hopefully, five Champions League titles, a European championship, a World Cup maybe. I’m always someone who tries to look at the game as optimistically as possible.”
Speaking about his love for the game and deep-rooted passion, Bellingham said: “My love for football comes from my competitiveness, and to be honest I’ve always been very competitive.”
As an English international, Bellingham has always been linked with a move to the Premier League. Yet, he has never played in the senior division in his home country.
“If someone had told me at that time [When he was a kid] that I would spend three years in Germany and then go to Spain without playing in the Premier League, I would have been shocked,” he said regarding the same.
He went on to speak about his great run of form at present and called for people to live in the moment as opposed to speculating over the future.
“I want people to acknowledge the things I’m doing right now. You perform as a young player in the present and then everybody talks about ‘Ah yeah imagine what he’s gonna be like in the future’ when now I’m performing to a good level. You almost don’t wanna keep hearing about your age.”
At Real Madrid, every competition is an objective to conquer in every season. The new signing showed that he had the required mentality to make it big at the Spanish capital, as he said,
“I think you have to go into every competition, every year, thinking that you can win it. Otherwise, what’s the point?”
Going to the topic of sharing the dressing room with so many legends of the game, the attacking midfielder had some interesting anecdotes to share.
“The truth is, I’ve never really been someone to be starstruck or like in awe of people. But when you come here [Real Madrid] with the things they’ve achieved, it’s hard not to feel like ‘Wow, this is the pinnacle of football’.”
“In the first few weeks, when I was getting to know everyone, it was a little bit like ‘Oh I’m sitting and having dinner next to Toni Kroos’,” he added.
Finally, Bellingham spoke about the prestige that came with donning the white jersey and how it felt being a part of football’s largest institution week in and week out.
“The kit itself [Real Madrid’s] is just so famous. When you have it on, it almost feels like a super suit. The word that comes to mind for me is ‘privilege’. Not many players get to play for Real Madrid especially.”
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo