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Bellingham talks Ancelotti, Zidane, Mbappe, Modric, Kroos, Kane at Real Madrid presentation

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Photo courtesy: Real Madrid official website

Over a week after Borussia Dortmund announced the transfer, Real Madrid confirmed the signing of Jude Bellingham in a deal worth €103 million plus add-ons on Wednesday.

The Merengues presented the 19-year-old England international at a ceremony earlier today, where he was handed the iconic No. 5 jersey, worn by his idol Zinedine Zidane at the club in the past. Jesus Vallejo wore it last season, but handed it over to Bellingham.

Following his presentation and a few words by club president Florentino Perez, Bellingham interacted with the media and spoke about how it was an honour to join the biggest club in the world.

“I want to say thank you to everyone here, everyone watching online and at home. There are a lot of people for thank for getting me here. Dortmund, Mr President, Juni Calafat. Thank you very much. Finally, Hala Madrid,” he started off.

“It’s the most important day of my life because I’m coming to the best club in the world.”

Further elaborating on why he choose Real Madrid when he had a plethora of top clubs chasing his signing, Bellingham said he got good feelings about the team and that money was never a factor for him.

“The reason I said today is my best day is because Real Madrid is the best cub in the history of the game. Money is not a problem for me. It has never been. I spoke to Juni Calafat and Jose Angel Sanchez and I got good feelings about the club,” he said.

Talking about the No. 5 jersey he will wear, Bellingham thanked Vallejo for giving up the shirt, as he said: “Thank you to Vallejo for giving me his No. 5. I spoke to him about it and he was a very nice guy.”

“I admire Zidane very much, his legacy in this club and with this number. I’m different. It’s a number that inspires me. The 22 has been my number for a long time, but now I will take the 5. We’ll see in the future.”

“The shirt itself is a responsibility and the fact of wearing the ‘5’ may weigh more but for me it is a challenge to keep up with the number because Zidane was the best,” he further added.

When asked if he had held any conversations with manager Carlo Ancelotti, the England international replied: “I had a bit of contact with Ancelotti. What he has achieved is incredible. For me, he is one of the best ever.”

Bellingham’s England captain and teammate Harry Kane has also been heavily linked with a transfer to Real Madrid this summer. When asked if the Tottenham ace would arrive at the club, the midfielder replied:

“About Harry Kane, he is a world-class player and he is my captain but I have nothing to comment on in this regard.”

On choosing Real Madrid over Premier League clubs, Bellingham said: “I think the respect England has for Real Madrid is extraordinary and the pedigree in Europe is very important.

“I’ve been watching games from previous years and this has always interested me a lot. They have the greatest history in the world and they have always had the best players.”

On how he sees himself at the club, he said: “I know that the demands of the club are important. I have a big responsibility and in terms of maturity, when you are 15 or 16 years old and you are already playing with grown-ups, as has happened to me, you get used to it, although I have to keep working.”

There has been a lot of talk about how Bellingham will share game-time with legends like Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, who are set to renew their contracts with the club for one more year. Talking about the veteran duo, the new recruit said:

“Sharing a dressing room with Modric and Kroos will be a priceless experience. It will be extraordinary and I hope to learn a lot from them. I’ll stick close to them and I hope it doesn’t bother them because I’m looking forward to learning.”

On the prospect of Kylian Mbappe possibly joining Real Madrid, the 19-year-old said: “Mbappé? That’s something I can’t comment on. He is one of the best in the world. I’ve seen what they say on Twitter but they don’t always tell the truth. Of course, he’s a great player and I’d love to play with him – who wouldn’t?”

Talking about the pressure of winning titles at Real Madrid Bellingham said: “The people of Real Madrid deserve to have a title every year. This year they haven’t won La Liga or the Champions League and that’s why I want to help them as much as possible to get back at it.”

“The trophy room was the most impressive thing for me. You can’t wait to pick one up with your own hands.”

On when he knew he would sign for the club, the teenager replied: “The exact moment I know I’m going to play for Real Madrid is complicated to say. When they have played the last few Champions League finals I have seen them all and it is very special for me to be here.”

The midfielder also revealed that his England teammates tried to pressure him into returning to his homeland, but he was seeking a new challenge, which convinced him to choose Madrid.

“In the English national team everyone was asking me to come back but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. It’s an opportunity I had to come here that I wanted to take and it’s not that the other teams are bad but that I wanted to come here,” he said.

“I know there is a lot of pressure around me and I know the level I have to reach to be here. It’s all part of a big learning curve,” Bellingham added.

On whether the big price tag weighs on him and adds pressure, the teenager said: “The price that has been paid depends on which newspaper we read. I don’t care about the price and I don’t even know it. I just want to help the team and as I’m not a lawyer or an accountant, I’ll talk on the field.”

“Expectations have always been very high for me. I hope this will help me to continue to learn and develop as a player,” he added.

Signing off, Bellingham gave a glimpse of what he thinks his best role is, saying: “I’m a midfielder who can do everything. Whatever the coach tells me will be the best because I will always try to help the team. Thank you very much, guys. Have a good afternoon.”

Source: Real Madrid TV

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Features

Euro 2024: Rating every Real Madrid player’s performance at the tournament

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

The UEFA Euro 2024 came to an end last night with Spain being crowned the champions of Europe thanks to a 2-1 victory over England in Berlin.

Considering how well La Roja played throughout the tournament and their performance in the finals on Sunday night, they were the deserved winners of the trophy.

With Spain lifting the trophy, Real Madrid veteran defender Dani Carvajal added another title to his already successful campaign finishing 2023/24 as a La Liga, Champions League, and EURO winner.

Nacho and Joselu, who were still contracted with Real Madrid when the Euro started, joined Carvajal on that list while Jude Bellingham finished on the losing side.

Real Madrid had a total of 13 players representing them at the Euros in Germany and not all managed to make a solid impression. Here are how the Merengues’ stars fared at the European Championships.

Spain

Dani Carvajal: 8/10

The Spanish right-back was one of the stars of the show at the Euros, playing an integral role in La Roja’s success. Carvajal kicked off his first Euro with a goal in the opening game against Croatia and continued to be a reliable player for Spain both in defence and attack.

Carvajal forged a strong partnership with Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal on the right flank and even played a key role in the team’s opening goal against England in the final.

Nacho: 6/10

Technically no longer a Real Madrid player, Nacho was still contracted with the club when the Euros kicked off. Starting in the opener against Croatia, he helped Spain to a clean sheet against Croatia.

The veteran defender also put in solid shifts in the quarter-final and semi-final ties against Germany and France, respectively and helped see out the game against England last night.

Joselu: N/A

Behind the likes of Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal in the pecking order, Joselu, who left Real Madrid at the end of June, played just 90 minutes across two games.

England

Jude Bellingham: 6.5/10

Failed to deliver. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Having enjoyed a dream season with Real Madrid, Jude Bellingham was unable to replicate those performances for England.

While he did score two crucial goals, including a stunning bicycle kick to keep his team alive against Slovakia, and assisted Cole Palmer’s strike in the finals, his overall display left a lot to be desired.

France

Kylian Mbappe: 6/10

Real Madrid’s newest acquisition, all eyes were on Mbappe heading into the Euros. And even though France made it as far as the semi-finals, the 25-year-old failed to live up to the expectations with a nose injury impacting his displays.

Mbappe finished the tournament with a solitary goal and two assists, but as he admitted after the defeat to Spain, his Euro will go down as a failure.

Aurelien Tchouameni: 6/10

Making a return from injury during the tournament, the Real Madrid midfielder was a solid presence in the centre of the park for France alongside N’Golo Kante without really standing out a great deal.

The 24-year-old provided strength and stability in midfield for Les Bleus and even tried to get upfield in matches. But his shooting from distance was way off the mark.

Not up to the mark. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Eduardo Camavinga: 5/10

Starting just one of France’s six games and featuring as a substitute in three more, Eduardo Camavinga was not a major presence for Didier Deschamps’ side at the Euros which came as a surprise.

The Real Madrid starlet did show glimpses of quality when he did get a chance but not enough for him to make an impact.

Ferland Mendy: N/A

Having made a return to the France setup for the first time since 2022, Mendy did not play a single minute at the Euros, with former Real Madrid left-back, Theo Hernandez being preferred by the manager.

Germany

Antonio Rudiger: 7/10

Carrying on from where he left off for Real Madrid, Rudiger was a solid presence at the heart of the German defence at the Euros in his homeland.

Came up against some tricky forwards throughout the hosts’ quarterfinal run but did well to hold his own, but was guilty of losing Mikel Merino for Spain’s goal that eliminated Germany.

Toni Kroos: 6.5/10

It was not a fairytale ending for Kroos, who waved goodbye to his international career with a forgettable display against Spain during which he could have been easily sent off for the array of fouls he committed.

Prior to that, however, Kroos was instrumental for Germany in their run until the quarterfinals, stringing play together from the centre of the park.

Turkey

Arda Guler: 7/10

Arda Guler made a good impression at the Euros. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

One of the breakout stars of the Euros, Arda Guler showcased his talent and potential, helping Turkey to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

The 19-year-old started off with a wonder-goal against Georgia and also added two assists to his tally in his first major tournament, following in the footsteps of greats like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. A bright future awaits.

Croatia

Luka Modric: 6/10

Unlike recent years, Luka Modric’s Croatia were unable to get past the group stages, with the veteran midfielder finishing the tournament with a goal from under 240 minutes.

Ukraine

Andriy Lunin: 2/10

Started the tournament as Ukraine’s No. 1 against Romania but made costly errors that saw him lose his place in the starting XI. Did not feature again after the opener as his team crashed out of the group stages.

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