EXCL: Teddy Sheringham lauds Real Madrid superstar Jude Bellingham – “He is in control of everything”

There’s absolutely no doubt that Jude Bellingham has been one of the best players in the world over the last 12 months. Real Madrid paid over €100m to sign him from Borussia Dortmund last summer, and remarkably, it’s already starting to look like a bargain.

Bellingham is celebrated widely in Madrid, and he’s equally lauded back in England, his home country. He’s currently representing the Three Lions at Euro 2024, and as expected, he’s been their most decisive player, scoring twice in four appearances – including the stoppage equaliser against Slovakia, which helped England into the quarter-finals. The 21-year-old has a knack for scoring late goals, having also netted two stoppage time winners against Barcelona last season.

English football icon Teddy Sheringham has been watching Bellingham with awe over the last 12 months. Speaking to Football España in collaboration with Poker Sites, Sheringham credited Bellingham’s decision to move to Real Madrid, and the impact he has made in the Spanish capital.

“He’s made two very brave moves already in his career. He was such a young age when he went to Borussia Dortmund, it was a massive move to a very big club. He did so well there, and then to go to Real Madrid was like a fairytale for him when he’s only 19/20 years of age. It doesn’t get any bigger than that. He’s taken to it so much, he’s learning the language already. I can’t speak highly enough of him. He looks like he is in control of everything that he does.”

As mentioned, Bellingham has come up with some clutch moments over the past year, with the latest being that goal against Slovakia. Sheringham discussed why he thinks the midfielder is so good at coming up with these decisive moments.

“He produced big moments in football matches. You hope that the ball falls to Kane or Bellingham, players that are on the top of their game and full of confidence, even when they aren’t playing well. His goal against Slovakia was more instinct that anything, I don’t know whether he’s practiced it before. He’s a player that expects chances to fall to him, that’s why he is so good. His mindset is so good, and that’s why you want him to have the ball all the time.”

Because of his exploits during the 2023-24 season, which included scoring 23 times for Real Madrid across all competitions, Bellingham is one of the favourites to win the 2024 Ballon d’Or – remarkably, at the age of 21. Sheringham believes that his countryman would fully deserve the award, although he recognised that it’s not certain at this stage whether it will become a reality.

“Without a doubt (Bellingham would deserve the Ballon d’Or). He’s had an unbelievable first season at Real Madrid, his first in Spain at a massive club. A lot of people would have shied away from that, but he’s been phenomenal.

“He’s come up with two goals at Euro 2024 so far, and I know that Vinicius had scored two for Brazil at the Copa America. Both players are in the frame, and I think it could come down to whose team progresses further at their competition. If Bellingham can lead England to glory, I think that would seal it for him.”

Bellingham predominantly played as a false nine for Real Madrid last season, and at Euro 2024, he has played just behind the striker. 2024-25 could see the England international moves deeper to accommodate the departure of Toni Kroos, especially if Carlo Ancelotti reverts to 4-3-3 because of the arrival of Kylian Mbappe.

Sheringham believes that Bellingham would not lose any effectiveness if he were to be played deeper, and in fact, he would expect him to be even more decisive.

“I think he could thrive just as equally if he played in a deeper role for Real Madrid. Personally, I want him to play that role for England at Euro 2024. If he plays in that no.8 role, I don’t think it changes too much for him. I think he prefers to receive the ball deeper anyway, so that he can join in the early stages of play, but it also allows him to arrive late into the box to score goals – which he can do because he has impeccable timing.

“He’s more than good enough to play as an 8, but join in attacking and continue scoring goals. His positional sense is fantastic. Personally, I see him slightly better playing in a deeper role, compared to the one he has played for Real Madrid and England. His style reminds me of Zidane, in the sense that he has such good technical ability as a tall player. His ability to play in tight places is unique, and the way he rolls players effortlessly reminds me a lot of Zidane.”

There’s no doubt that Bellingham’s last 12 months have been the stuff of dreams, and if he can lead England to Euro 2024 glory, that would be the crowing jewel. Real Madrid will be cheering him on, and they will hope he can also continue to replicate his form domestically as the years go on.

Tags England Jude Bellingham Real Madrid Teddy Sheringham
La Liga - Club News