‘He reminds me of Di Stefano’: 10 quotes on Jude Bellingham’s astonishing Real Madrid start
Jude Bellingham is being compared to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and Alfredo Di Stefano after a truly astonishing start to his Real Madrid career.
For once, that kind of talk probably isn’t overdoing it. The 20-year-old England international has scored 10 goals in his first 10 appearances for the Spanish giants and surely has a genuine claim to be the greatest footballer in the world right now.
But don’t take our word for it. We’ve compiled 10 quotes from those that know Spanish football best on just how good Bellingham has been for Real Madrid.
“I’m surprised he’s only 20 years old because he looks like he’s 30 because of his character and attitude,” says the Los Blancos boss.
“He is always focused on the game and knows what he has to do. It’s unusual for a 20-year-old. He has a lot of quality, physical strength and skill. He surprises me like he does to everyone else.”
— Diario AS (@diarioas) August 12, 2023
“As for Bellingham as a player, I can say that he is one of the greatest midfield talents in the world,” the Madrid defender told German outlet Welt.
“And that at a young age! At just 20, he leads the team, doesn’t hide and already decides games with his style of play.”
“He was born to play for Real Madrid, to mark an era at the biggest club in the world,” the forward told Real Madrid TV.
“Let’s hope [our connection] lasts for many years, that we play here together for a long time.
“I’m delighted to play with Jude, one of the best players right now, at his age. We’re all happy and the fans are enjoying it.”
“If Bellingham continues like this, he could become the greatest English footballer of all time”, the former Valencia manager told Marca.
“He’s exceptionally talented and has a brilliant temperament. He always anticipates what is going to happen next.
“His start to the season with Real Madrid and England speaks of a player on another level. He is beautiful to watch.”
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 6, 2023
Alfredo Relano (AS)
“Maybe Madrid couldn’t get Kylian Mbappe but Bellingham is a huge success and as a midfielder who plays like an attacker, he genuinely reminds me of Alfredo Di Stefano,” wrote the editor of Spanish outlet AS.
“The elegance in his gait and the manner in which he uses the ball, his ferocity and indefatigability in battle, he’s half artist, half warrior. He’s the organisational focal point of the attacking game and yet still able to be the goal-scorer finishing chances.”
Tomas Roncero (AS)
“Jude has us all in love,” began the famously animated El Chiringuito pundit in his latest newspaper column (translated from Spanish).
“Of his surgical and aesthetic football, of his polychrome goals that are worth their weight in gold, of his elegance in leadership, of his magnificent vision of the game, of his good vibes with his teammates and of his iconic celebration better known as El Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer) of Stourbridge.
“Bellingham has the football planet under its spell. A player without limits. A guy who turns every appearance of his at the Bernabeu into a mass spectacle, with thousands of his t-shirts with the ‘5’ on the back and an excellent choreography that always ends with a happy ending.”
Joel Del Rio (Marca)
“Jude Bellingham’s efficiency in front of goal is truly remarkable. He has netted 10 goals for Real Madrid from just 19 shots, a feat that is difficult to explain considering the precision and composure he displays when approaching the opponent’s penalty area,” wrote the Marca journalist.
“His unwavering confidence allows him to continue scoring, even in situations where the opposing goalkeeper seems impervious, as if he were defending a futsal goal.”
Guillem Balague (BBC)
“He’s the best player in the world right now,” the Spanish journalist told the BBC.
“His dream was always to be part of La Liga at the biggest level and he believes he belongs to that level. In Spain the comparisons have started, first Zidane, then Di Stefano. Everybody, all the players, are saying what a brilliant guy and brilliant footballer he is.”
Sid Lowe (The Guardian)
“As for the fans, they’re smitten,” wrote Lowe after Bellingham’s home debut.
“And how could they not be? Not only is he playing superbly, Bellingham gets it, understands his surroundings, the stage he is on. There is no fear, a supreme confidence but a deference too: both bloody hell, Real Madrid is huge and It’s Real Madrid? And? Every word, every gesture, is pitched right. At full time on Saturday, he turned to all four sides of the ground, which had all turned to him, applauded, pointed and promised more. It felt natural, not forced, the connection complete. He is, one front page declares, ‘the master of the Bernabeu.'”
Alex Kirkland (ESPN)
“His goal scoring just won’t stop and neither will the comparisons,” wrote ESPN’s Real Madrid correspondent.
“First it was Zinedine Zidane. Then it was Alfredo di Stefano. You hear choruses of “Hey Jude” every week at the Santiago Bernabeu. There are Bellingham shirts everywhere you look. Children imitate his arms-out-wide goal celebration. The fans couldn’t love him more.”