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Bellingham becomes instant fan favourite at Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s English midfielder #5 Jude Bellingham reacts during the Spanish Liga football match betweem Real Madrid and Real Sociedad at at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on September 17, 2023.- AFP 

Jude Bellingham, the English midfielder, has made an impressive debut with Real Madrid, making headlines in La Liga.  

Since his 103 million euro transfer from Borussia Dortmund this summer, Bellingham has scored five goals in five La Liga matches, taking the Spanish top-flight by storm.

Real Madrid has enjoyed a perfect start in their domestic games, winning all of them. However, their season’s real test begins with the start of the Champions League this week.

Bellingham, aged 20, is all set to make his ‘second’ debut for Los Blancos as they face Union Berlin at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid holds this competition in high regard, and their acquisition of Bellingham was, in part, a response to their 4-0 thrashing by Manchester City in last season’s semi-final.

Madrid has begun to reduce playing time for their veteran midfielders, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, while providing more opportunities to Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Fede Valverde.

Bellingham, who now wears the No 5 jersey in tribute to Zinedine Zidane, has quickly become a fan favourite at Madrid. His celebrations, arms wide open in joy, have endeared him to supporters in a way that didn’t happen with Gareth Bale.

He has even been serenaded with the chorus of the Beatles’ song “Hey Jude.” Bellingham expressed his appreciation, saying, “When they sang ‘Hey Jude’ at the end, I got goosebumps.”

Bellingham’s strong personality and performance were on display when he led England to the World Cup quarter-finals at just 19 years old.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti has primarily deployed Bellingham as a number 10, providing a physical presence behind the nimble Brazilian duo of Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior.

Bellingham’s goal-scoring prowess has filled the void left by Karim Benzema’s departure. Real Madrid’s pursuit of Kylian Mbappe was put on hold, as Bellingham has shown his ability to make a difference in the attacking position Ancelotti has designed for him.

In the short term, this setup has worked well for both coach and player, promising a bright future for Jude Bellingham at Real Madrid.

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