THE DEBUT OF TORPEDO COACH AND BELLINGHAM
Jude Bellingham was born in one of the largest cities in England: Birmingham. And as he corresponds to any boy, he fell in love with soccer since he was little. I fell in love so much that at the age of 16 I had the opportunity to play “with adults”.
No matter how strange it may seem, but the first one who gave the Englishman a chance to prove himself at such a young age is the current coach of the Moscow “Torpedo” Pep Clotet. He then coached Birmingham, which had long since been relegated from the Premier League and was floundering in the lower professional divisions.
It happened in 2019 in a match against Stoke City. At that time, the football player had a certain reputation and fame. The seven-year-old player “cooked” in the Birmingham system and was one of the main representatives of the new football generation in Great Britain. And as much as they tried to steal Jude from the poor team, but it didn’t work, the footballer turned out to be faithful to the last place where he grew up.
Photo source: Birmingham FC
Going back to the debut meeting, it unfolded in the most charming way possible. He left with a score of 0:1, helped to level the score and in the end completely brought the team forward. It was clear to everyone at St. Andrews that this guy was the future of English football.
“You know, there are people who are born to play soccer, and when they are born to play soccer, they succeed.”
This is what Clotet’s assistant, Paco Herrera, said before releasing the player, and now we can say with full confidence that it was not in vain.
But that was just the beginning. Then there were only records: The youngest player in the history of the team, league, cup. Pep believed in the footballer and Bellingham paid him back in full. The player became a true team leader and acquired a feisty nature at a young age, but it was clear that he needed to move on.
ENGLAND? VERY BORING
When it came time for promotion, the player was faced with the question of whether to continue to conquer English football or launch himself into a whole new challenge. And just at that moment the bosses of Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund approached the footballer. On the one hand, why not continue to develop in his homeland, in the strongest league in the world, where he will feel as comfortable as possible.
As soon as they did not try to appease and conquer the footballer. They offered fabulous contracts, they contacted the family, even Sir Alex Ferguson gave the youngster a tour of the training base. Can you remember how many players, especially so young, received such honors?
But it turned out to be too boring for the young man, and he decided to move to the mainland. The bosses of the bumblebees shelled out 25 million for a promising boy and this did not cause any surprises. A football player at such a young age was bought as a full-fledged reinforcement for a top club.
Photo Source: Getty Images
It’s no secret that in terms of “cultivating” players, Borussia can be called the best in the business with full confidence. If you list all the best football players who have become stars in Dortmund, then a few pages will not be enough. In addition, the team has a like-minded footballer, the no less promising Briton Jadon Sancho, who back in 2017 decided to move from the United system to the German club.
Already in September 2020, this boy made his debut for Borussia, although only in the cup match against Duisburg. And again everything went according to the Birmingham scenario. Debut and goal, the stunned public chanted his name. In the same month, the player was named Bundesliga Rookie of the Month. The club bosses rubbed their hands together realizing they had hit the jackpot.
And what happened next is history. In October he made his Champions League debut, becoming the youngest English player in the history of the European trophy (17 years and 117 days). And in April, the midfielder scored his first goal in this draw. And who else! The Briton decided once again to remind Manchester City of his existence.
It makes no sense to paint all the episodes of the footballer’s Dortmund stage. Would you be interested in reading an account of the performance of the main Borussia player, even if he is only 17 years old? In the first season, the player participated in 46 matches and scored 6 goals, simultaneously winning the German Cup. The following season, it was possible not only to maintain the success, but also to exaggerate it. Imagine a group of artists. Holland, Sancho, Bellingham, and all played for the same club just a year ago. How quickly time passes!
But that’s not what it’s about now. In the 2021/2022 season, the footballer performed no less successfully, even much worse. That season was overshadowed only by a lack of trophies. With the German Super Cup began a series of failures, where Bellingham’s effort was not enough to defeat Bayern. And with all the dedication and the beautiful game, the midfielder lacked enough to win the title of best young player. An embarrassing second place, but it’s worth acknowledging that Pedri was no worse than Jude that year, and those awards are just conventions.
This season has gone at a fast pace. Despite the departure of Holland and the like-minded Sancho, Borussia eventually strengthened themselves under Jude and embarked on a trophy campaign. But the fierce contest with Bayern ended tragically, with Mainz’s ignominious defeat on the final day and an attacking second-place finish.
Photo Source: Getty Images
In any case, Bellingham has already come into his own at Borussia, eventually growing stronger and becoming a football monster. Seriously, with his game, the midfielder erased the age limits, because for a long time there has been no footballer in football memory who has spent three full seasons, but at the time of the last one he was only 19 years old.
As for the selection, it seems that no one will be surprised that the footballer has passed all ages and by this time is already the main team’s main. By the way, he has been at it since 2020. He traveled through Europe and won silver at the Euro Cup, and in winter he went to Qatar. He along with Declan Rice formed one of the best combinations in world football. The two ambitious midfielders seem to be made for each other. While Bellingham acts as a freelance artist, Rice “cleans up” and does all the defensive work. And he becomes really scary, because if these guys meet in the same club, then this will definitely be the best duo today.
ENGLAND? NOT MY LEVEL
It’s pretty weird to say in the context of a 19-year-old that he needs a promotion. But in the context of our history, this is the case. There is not a single team in the world that would not want to get one of the best footballers in the world, who is also 19 years old. And as they say, where the best play, in Madrid.
Florentino Pérez could not ignore this footballer. This transition was simply necessary from several sides. The first and most obvious is sport. Toni Kross and Luka Modric are getting old, and in a pairing of Camavinga and Valverde, it just takes the same promising youngster. And the second side of this transfer was supposed to show that Perez was still on the horse. The team is not the most successful in the transfer campaign. The epic with Mbappé continues, and Harry Kane refused to sign at the last moment. It seemed that the transition of the young Englishman would help wipe the noses of all the haters and show that Madrid continues to get the best.
Photo source: Real Madrid (Madrid)
But here again, like three years ago, the player faced a choice. This time, the most important of his life.
What English club wouldn’t want Bellingham? But someone could not get it out because of the price, somewhere the footballer simply did not go. There was talk of Liverpool and they were the most logical. The team simply needs a creative midfielder, and the Merseysiders themselves are heading for a shakeup.
MADRID OR HOMELAND?
But once again the English chose warm Madrid instead of cold Liverpool. It sounds pretty reasonable. A player of his level is clearly more comfortable playing with Cross and Modric than with Hendersen and McAllister. But all these are reflections, much more important than action. From the stately shoulder of Pérez, a transfer of funds worth 107 million euros was made to Borussia. Bellingham goes to Madrid. The deal includes bonuses that could reach 125 million pounds, and if that happens, the midfielder will become the most expensive English player in history.
Photo source: Real Madrid (Madrid)
The only thing that is alarming is that English footballers have never been a good export product and the British rarely played decent segments. Woodgate, Owen, Beckham: they all came to Real Madrid once and left with a state of great disappointment. And this is the main question: will Madrid’s choice be the right one? Maybe it was still worth choosing a homeland?