Friday, September 29, 2023

The ‘Zidanization’ of Bellingham

This past Wednesday marked the 55th anniversary of the rise of the Beatles’ song ‘Hey Jude’ to number one on the British charts. And he did it with several covers of the English tabloids with the headline, although the reason was different. The reason was the display displayed by Jude Bellingham with the England number 10 shirt in the friendly against Scotland.

Determinant with England

A match in which the footballer of real Madrid He started the play to make it 0-1, scored 0-2 and gave the assist to make it 1-3 to Harry Kane, thus completing his best game with the ‘Three Lions’ shirt. A jacket, number 10, that he didn’t wear by chance. “If you put a shirt on him, you have to put the ’10’ on him. That’s what he is, a playmaker who can also score goals,” said Chris Waddle, former player and former coach of the Scottish national team.

Bellihgam, at 20 years old, He has made a qualitative leap in his debut season with Real Madrid, in which he has assumed the leading role, especially in scoring production, scoring five goals. and chaining three awards for the best player in the first four days of the league. Behind appears the new tactical responsibility that Carlo Ancelotti has given him, who has altered his drawing to give the Englishman more freedom behind the forwards. That makes him the epicenter of creation, where he accelerates the play and breaks defensive screens, and at a distance close enough to the area to step on it dangerously.

Respect for the locker room

Bellingham himself focused on that new assignment that Carletto has offered him: “I have a role with a lot of freedom. My fantastic teammates and my coach at Real Madrid have given me this freedom and I am taking advantage of it.” His teammates discovered very quickly that he was not just a talented young man with experience in the Premier and the Bundesliga. This is what Dani Carvajal, one of Madrid’s captains, confessed to Jorge Valdano on his program: “We don’t want to deify him too much because the bar is very high. From the first moment he started training, we veterans looked at each other in preseason and said ‘Wow, this guy knows what he’s doing!’. You don’t just see that it’s very fast or that it’s technically crazy… It’s that it’s also very complete. He arrives, you give him the ball and from the third week onwards he understands himself with everyone just watching. He is very intelligent”.

Bellingham is an enormously mature player, despite having entered his twenties just three months ago. Everything is so clear to him that he has given up salaries of more than 20 million net to earn that raw money in a Real Madrid about which he heard many stories from his father Mark, a former sergeant of the secret police who was an amateur soccer star. English with more than 700 goals. The former Borussia Dortmund player rejected offers of Liverpool and City to prove, as Valdano said, that “Real Madrid does not pay with money, it pays with glory.” The time will come to skyrocket his income in Madrid, but it will be in the coming seasons, because in this initial season he is more concerned with winning the affection of the stands and the respect of his rivals.

Bellingham’s career is a constant challenge in which the player has broken down all barriers. At the age of 14 he was already playing with Birmingham City’s Under-18s and a month after turning 16, coach Pep Clotet gave him his first team debut, becoming the youngest debutant in Birmingham’s history. A milestone that he confirmed weeks later by being the youngest scorer in the club’s history. From there he went to Borussia when he was only 18 years old.

“At Dortmund he has assumed an incredible responsibility, he has shown charisma and personality, he has confirmed that he is brave and that he meets leadership criteria. Bellingham has a sense of how the game should be organized in the midfield and an incredible work rate. I have no doubt that the move to Real Madrid will benefit him because he is a constantly growing player and only he can know where his limits are,” said Dortmund’s chief scout, Marcus Pilawa, when evaluating his move to Real Madrid.

For Gareth Bale, the last Briton who brought the Bernabéu to its feet, “Jude has had a great start at Madrid. He is obviously scoring goals, which is important. Especially in this club and starting life in Madrid well is always important. I suppose he will continue to make Britain proud. I think that “If he keeps working hard and doing what he does, then the sky will be his limit.”

Zidane’s mirror

Jude is the most expensive and best valued player of the 33 players who have landed in the League this summer. The Englishman wanted to link his career in Madrid with that of another player he idolizes, Zinedine Zidane. That is why he has symbolically chosen the number 5 shirt that the Frenchman wore in Madrid. Bellingham has ‘Zidanian’ traits thanks to that size (he measures 1.86 compared to Zizou’s 1.85) and that long-line elegance which makes him move with distinguished movements reminiscent of French.

Such has been Bellingham’s adaptation to Ancelotti’s new drawing, whose tactical sense has once again been evident with this intelligent maneuver, that the Englishman has become the team’s reference playmaker, sitting on the bench no more and no less than to a Ballon d’Or and inspiration for Real Madrid and Jude himself, Luka Modric. The Croatian spoke about it this past week in an interview with the Balkan media Sportske Novosti: “It seems strange to me not to be playing. I am aware that we have a lot of competition in the midfield, that these young people are top-level players and that is why they are in the Madrid. We older people must help them progress and gradually assume their roles. What I am clear about is that I will work to be among the protagonists of this season.”

Bellingham’s relationship with the Croatian is unbeatable, although the one who has been most dedicated to him has been Toni Kroos. The Englishman is full of praise for the German: “He is a master. One of the things I have noticed is the detail in the pass. The ball goes where he wants. For a person who has seen him from the outside, now seeing him up close is a pleasure, a luxury. To be honest, it’s a pleasure to receive the ball from Kroos. “I’m also trying to teach him what I know how to do and how we can work together to help each other.”

Jude Victor William Bellingham has won over the dressing room with his empathy, he has earned the starting place with his goals and he has even caused Ancelotti to design a tactical drawing tailored to him. Real Madrid fans are delighted with him and even in England they are already talking about his next captaincy ahead of the Euro Cup next summer. The only but in this devastating start to the season came when he found out that the EA Sports 2024 update lowered his pace in the game to 76, even less than last season. Something that has caused laughter from his colleagues.


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