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‘He’s a physical Zidane’ – Arsenal legend heaps praise on Real Madrid rising star

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Jude Bellingham will undisputedly be the player in focus when Borussia Dortmund take on Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on June 1.

The midfielder, after all, will be taking on his former club at Wembley, just a year after joining Real Madrid. He will also head into this game as one of Real Madrid’s most prolific and important players.

As Bellingham mentally prepares for this special game, he has received praise from legendary manager Arsene Wenger.

Wenger compares Bellingham to Zidane

“Zinedine Zidane arrived at Real Madrid when he was 29 years old, while this boy is 20 years old and that is a big difference,” Wenger said (h/t MARCA).

The former Arsenal manager went on to label Bellingham as a more physical version of the legendary Real Madrid midfielder.

Wenger compares Bellingham to Zidane (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

“Bellingham is like a mix of Zidane with a physically powerful player. He is a physical Zidane,” he added.

It appears Wenger is indeed surprised at how well Bellingham has managed pressure and expectations at such a young age.

Very few can blame the Frenchman either, as Bellingham has racked up 22 goals and 10 assists in 39 competitive matches this season.

Bellingham is the second-highest scorer in La Liga with 18 goals. His contributions have been key in helping Real Madrid reclaim the league title, whereas his eight-goal involvements in the Champions League have helped Los Blancos reach the final.

The Englishman has been criticised by pundits for his receding form in 2024, but the midfielder has received backing from top footballing personalities, including Ruud van Nistelrooy, who was also left surprised by Bellingham’s performances this season.

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Real Madrid News

Bundesliga title-winner ‘is ready for Real Madrid’, says former German great

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with Sport BILD (h/t AS), Germany legend Michael Ballack has claimed that Bayer Leverkusen sensation Florian Wirtz is ready to play for Real Madrid.

Wirtz is a player that Real Madrid have been closely monitoring for a while now, with the German sensation being seen as a long-term replacement for Toni Kroos, who announced his retirement yesterday.

A move for Wirtz is being planned for the summer of 2025 and Ballack believes that the Bundesliga title winner with Leverkusen is ready for the big move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

“Wirtz is ready for Real Madrid,” said Ballack.

“In terms of football, Wirtz can definitely play for Real Madrid. You can also see it in Jude Bellingham after his move from BVB: when you play with even better players, you become even better,” he added.

The Toni Kroos replacement? (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

Wirtz has a contract with Bayer Leverkusen that runs until the summer of 2027. As things stand, the new German champions have no intentions of selling their prized asset this year.

However, there appears to be an acceptance that the German international will be on the move in 2025.

Other top clubs like Manchester City and Bayern Munich are also understood to be interested, but Real Madrid are likely to beat them in the race should it come down to that next year.

A move for Wirtz, though, could cost in excess of €100 million for Real Madrid should they do indeed decide to proceed with his signing next year.

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