Thursday, December 7, 2023

Jude Bellingham’s form for Real Madrid against Barcelona in El Clasico leaves Carlo Ancelotti surprised

The Italian tactician said everybody is surprised by his play

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After marking his first El Clasico with a brace and the winner to send Real Madrid to the top of La Liga, 20-year-old Jude Bellingham is even surprising his own coach with his performances. Since joining Los Blancos, Bellingham has scored 13 goals and assisted three more in only 13 appearances while also picking up a penchant for dramatic winners. Bellingham has now scored four goals in the 80th minute or later with three coming after 90 mintues of play. He’s able to pop up where Carlo Ancelotti needs him and is playing well beyond his years in his first season with Real Madrid.

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One thing that’s extremely impressive is that it felt like we’d never see a debut season like Erling Haaland’s for Manchester City scoring 53 goals and assisting nine in all competitions but not only is Bellingham matching Haaland step for step, it’s arguably more impressive because he’s doing it from midfield instead of as a striker. Never asked to play as high up the pitch as he has been deployed for Real Madrid during his Borussia Dortmund days, Bellingham has flourished in Spain, so much that his manager is surprised. 

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“He scored a stupendous goal for the first and he was smart for the second,” Ancelotti said following the match. “We’re surprised. Everyone is surprised by his level and his level of efficiency up front. He gets into the box, but today, the shot [for the first goal] surprised us, he scored a stupendous goal … Right now, he’s the player who’s making the difference.”

To surprise Ancelottii, a manager who has overseen stars at Real Madrid, Milan, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and plenty of other top clubs in between, is saying something but Bellingham is re-writing what can be done from midfield. We’re running out of superlatives to describe him as Bellingham raises the bar for himself each week. 

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