“An incredible player” – Zinedine Zidane lauds Real Madrid superstar, challenges him to win trophies

Real Madrid icon Zinedine Zidane has hailed Jude Bellingham amid the English superstar’s sensational start at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bellingham, 20, is following in Zidane’s footsteps as he took the Frenchman’s iconic No.5 shirt upon arriving at Madrid. He’s since been a revelation for Los Blancos, bagging 20 goals and eight assists in 29 games across competitions.

The 27-cap England international has already broken a record held by Real Madrid legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Alfredo Di Stefano. He became the first player in the club’s history to score more than 13 goals in their first 15 appearances.

Zinedine Zidane is a massive admirer of Bellingham and hopes to see the young Englishman lift silverware with the La Liga giants. He said (via Madrid Xtra):

“I’m a big fan of Jude Bellingham. He’s an incredible player, he’s doing incredible things. Now we want him to win trophies with Real Madrid, this is what I wish him.”

Bellingham became Los Merengues’ second most expensive signing in the club’s history when he arrived from Borussia Dortmund last summer for €103 million. He’s played a key role in Carlo Ancelotti’s side’s impressive ongoing season, with his side top of La Liga and the attacking midfielder top of the goalscoring charts (16 goals in 21 games).

Los Blancos’ current top scorer is tasked with helping his side win trophies and they already won the Supercopa de Espana last month. Madrid are top of La Liga and through to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, facing RB Leipzig in the first leg tonight (February 13).

The former Birmingham City academy graduate particularly impressed in a 4-2 win against Napoli (November 29) in the Champions League group stages. He grabbed himself a goal and an assist and Ancelotti explained what separates him from Zidane following that display (via ESPN):

“What I see is [Bellingham’s] ability to get into the box. Zidane didn’t have that. And the individual quality which Zidane had, Bellingham doesn’t have.”

Zinedine Zidane is a Real Madrid icon, winning seven major trophies during his playing days at the Bernabeu. He made 227 appearances, scoring 49 goals and providing 68 assists, and was renowned for his elegance on the ball, vision, and technique.

Jude Bellingham on taking Zinedine Zidane’s famous No.5 Real Madrid shirt

Jude Bellingham took Zinedine Zidane's No.5 shirt.” width=”1920″>
Jude Bellingham took Zinedine Zidane’s No.5 shirt.

Bellingham donned the No.22 shirt during his time at Dortmund and Birmingham. That shirt number was occupied by Antonio Rudiger when he joined Ancelotti’s side last summer.

Thus, the 2023 Golden Boy winner was forced to choose another number and he opted to go for the No.5 shirt. He explained how Zidane left a lasting legacy in the shirt number and that it inspires him (via Planet Sport):

“I really admire Zidane and the legacy he has at this club with the number five. It’s a number that inspires me.”

Bellingham is doing Zinedine Zidane’s iconic No.5 jersey justice with inspired performances. But, Real Madrid will be without the English midfielder for at least four games. He suffered an ankle injury in a 4-0 win against La Liga title rivals Girona (February 10), a game in which he bagged a brace.

Edited by Matthew Guyett

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