Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeInternationalSouthgate says Bellingham world 'different to most' players

Southgate says Bellingham world ‘different to most’ players

Gareth Southgate has said few players in world football have to deal with the spotlight England midfielder Jude Bellingham finds himself in.

Bellingham has become one of the most recognisable players in world football following a stunning debut season at Real Madrid, in which the midfielder scored 23 goals to win a Champions League and La Liga double.

 

The 21-year-old was named La Liga Player of the Season for 2023-24, just a year after winning the Bundesliga’s equivalent at Borussia Dortmund.

Bellingham has faced criticism after following an impressive opening fixture with two quiet performances for England at Euro 2024, with the Three Lions having looked unconvincing on route to the last 16.

Ahead of facing Slovakia this evening, Southgate said it is important to remember Bellingham is still a young player, having only celebrated his 21st birthday on Saturday. He said the midfielder’s remarkable rise means ‘his world is different to most 21-year-olds’ as a result.

“Jude missed a period at the end of the season with an ankle injury so he will have benefited from the matches he has had,” Southgate said at his pre-game press conference.

“Of course we have to be mindful of the quality we have to come into the game; freshness might make a difference in the latter stages of matches. But I am not concerned about Jude Bellingham’s condition. His birthday was a big day for him and a reminder of how well he deals with the expectation around him at a remarkably young age.

 

“There are few players who have had to live in that world. His world is different to most 21-year-olds.”

Read – Southgate calls for England to play without fear at Euro 2024

See more – Dismal England have two positives to cling onto ahead of Euro 2024 knockouts

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