Jude Bellingham has had a great start to life in the Spanish city. He scored in his first game for Real Madrid and has scored in four of the five games since.
The England player has scored five goals in five games in La Liga since moving there from Borussia Dortmund for 103 million euros ($110 million) this summer. He is causing a storm in Spain’s top league.
Real Madrid has won all of its first home games, giving them a perfect record to start the season. However, this week marks the start of the Champions League, which will be the real start of their season.
Bellingham, who is 20 years old, will make his “second” start for Los Blancos on Wednesday against Union Berlin at the Santiago Bernabeu. This is the most important game for Los Blancos.
The record 14-time European winners were beaten 4-0 by Manchester City in the second leg of last season’s semi-final, making the total score 5-1. The purchase of Bellingham was in part a reaction to that painful loss.
Madrid has started giving Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Fede Valverde more chances while giving Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, two experienced midfielders, less playing time.
Bellingham joins Madrid’s tougher group of players this season, after Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema left in the summer to play football in Saudi Arabia.
Bellingham should feel at home when he plays a Bundesliga team in Europe, though it has become clear that he has already made himself at home.
On September 2, in his first game at the famous Bernabeu, an England player nearly blew the stadium’s new roof off with a last-minute goal that gave Madrid a tight victory over Getafe.
Bellingham has quickly become a fan favorite at Madrid. He wears the number 5 on his back to honor Zinedine Zidane.
Because he celebrates his goals with his arms wide open, as if he wants to share his happiness with the fans, they have taken to him right away in a way that never happened with Welsh winger Gareth Bale.
The chorus of the Beatles song “Hey Jude” was sung to Bellingham, which he said was a magical moment.
“When they sang ‘Hey Jude’ at the end, I got goosebumps,” he told Real Madrid TV after their win over Getafe.
“I just wanted to turn around and stand still and listen to it while my legs were shaking.”
After avoiding a barge from a Getafe player, Bellingham made a nod to Spanish culture by waving his arms like a matador.
Personality is important.
Carlo Ancelotti, the coach of Real Madrid, was asked how Bellingham and the team clicked so quickly. He said, “Good players with personality suffer a little less than others.”
“There’s nothing else to say. The shirt of a big team like Real Madrid doesn’t seem to matter as much when the player has a lot of personality.
When he was only 19, he led England to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Qatar. This showed what kind of guy he was.
So far, Ancelotti has used Bellingham as a number 10, which gives the team a big physical force in the area behind the quick Brazilian duo of Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior, although Vinicius Junior is hurt right now.
Only once has he not scored, and that was in Sunday’s 2-1 comeback win over Real Sociedad. In that game, he dropped lower and got involved in the center fight.
Ancelotti said, “He had a steady game. He didn’t get into the box until the very end, but he was involved and worked hard the whole time.”
Bellingham’s goals have taken the place of Benzema’s. Since joining the team, he has played more like the French forward than like Les Bleus legend Zidane.
Kylian Mbappe, a scorer for Paris Saint-Germain, was linked to Real Madrid this summer. Mbappe has made it clear that he wants to join Los Blancos.
Mbappe’s deal was set to end at the end of the season, so Madrid decided against it. It would have been a big investment that might not have been worth it.
The last nail in the coffin was Bellingham’s goals, which showed that he can make a difference in the other team’s box in the attacking position Ancelotti made for him.
Maybe Mbappe will come next summer, and maybe Bellingham’s job will change when a new coach takes over for Ancelotti on the Brazilian national team. But for now, teacher and player are both happy with how things are set up.