Rio Ferdinand has lavished praise on Jude Bellingham after the Borussia Dortmund midfielder made Champions League history this week.
Bellingham captained Dortmund to a 4-1 win at Sevilla on Wednesday evening to become the first English teenager to captain a Champions League club.
The England international – who scored and assisted in a convincing win for the Bundesliga side – also became the third-youngest captain in Champions League history (19 years, 98 days), behind Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax – 19 years, 51 days) and Rúben Neves (Porto – 18 years, 221 days).
He is also the first teenage midfielder to score in each of the opening three matchdays of a Champions League campaign, after netting a fine individual effort at the
Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
Ferdinand was full of praise for the midfielder – who excelled for England during September’s international break – and believes the teenager is ahead of where several past English football greats were at the same age.
“What he’s doing, in his position at his age we haven’t seen,” Ferdinand said to to BT Sport.
“The best of our generation, Lampard, Gerrard, Scholes, Vieira, Keane… They weren’t doing this!
“He’s still got to go on and prove it over a long period of time, but they weren’t doing what he is doing right now. Influencing games at this level. Captaining a team at this level. He’s the full package. Mentally, this kid’s a beast.”