The Ballon d’Or ceremony is in full swing, with Lionel Messi set to battle it out with Erling Haaland for the prestigious trophy.
However, for Real Madrid fans, the biggest highlight of the event so far has been Jude Bellingham, who was recently crowned the Kopa Trophy for being the best talent in the world.
Gary Lineker backs Bellingham to win Ballon d’Or
While Bellingham might not be in consideration to win the Ballon d’Or title this year, Gary Lineker has backed the Englishman to win the coveted trophy in five years.
“Who wins the Ballon d’Or in 5 years? Probably Jude Bellingham,” Lineker said (h/t Madrid Xtra) while interacting with the media during the Ballon d’Or ceremony.
Lineker’s comments came on the back of Bellingham’s excellent start to the season with Real Madrid, with the midfielder having scored 13 goals in 13 competitive matches so far, as Bellingham reacted coyly to hearing this news.
A memorable week for Bellingham
The comments from the former English striker also marked an exciting week for Bellingham, who, as mentioned earlier, was crowned the Kopa Trophy at the Ballon d’Or ceremony.
Not to mention, the former Borussia Dortmund starlet was ranked 18th in the extended Ballon d’Or list. He finished ahead of players such as Harry Kane, Lautaro Martinez and Antoine Griezmann.
Bellingham was also instrumental in helping Real Madrid secure a crucial 2-1 win over Barcelona at the weekend, which in turn, ensured that Los Blancos remain at the top of the table.
On top of that, the Englishman is currently the undisputed favourite to win the prestigious Golden Boy trophy, after missing out on the title for two successive years.
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