By India Today Sports Desk: Real Madrid’s latest recruit Jude Bellingham said on Thursday that money was not the motivation behind him making the move to the Spanish giants but the rich history of the club tempted him to get to Madrid. The 19-year-old England international joined Real Madrid in a sensational move from Borussia Dortmund in a deal reportedly worth USD 111.58 million plus add-ons.
Juge Bellingham’s stocks skyrocketed after his dazzling show in Qatar at the World Cup with England and he had interest from big names in the Premier League. However, the 19-year-old, who was also heavily linked to Liverpool, chose Real Madrid to add to the history of the ‘greatest club’ which has won the European Cup 14 times.
“Money is not a thing for me. I don’t think about money at all when I make this kind of decisions. I never have, I never will. I play the game purely out of love, It wasn’t a case of the other teams are bad or they weren’t good, it is just that, for me, Madrid are the greatest… The respect that England has for Real Madrid is so high. Their pedigree in Europe is the best – simple as that,” Bellingham said after he was announced as Real Madrid player following the medicals on Thursday.
“I took a lot of interest in that. I think that’s what makes Madrid appealing to me. It has a great history and you want to be one of the players that adds to it and continues to make it the greatest,” he added.
SHIRT NO. 5 HUGE HOMAGE TO ZIDANE: BELLINGHAM
Bellingham joined Dortmund from second-division English club Birmingham in 2020. He made 132 appearances for the German side and scored 24 goals and provided 25 assists, winning the Bundesliga Player of the Season award even as he side lost the league title to Bayern Munich on goal difference in the recently-concluded season.
Bellingham debuted for England in 2020 and made 24 appearances for the national team, which includes a superlative showing in the World Cup in Qatar last year.
Bellingham is only the 7th player from England to sign for Real Madrid after Laurie Cunningham, Steve McManaman, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Jonathan Woodgate and Gareth Bale.
And Bellingham was handed a special jersey number – 5 that legendary Zinedine Zidane wore during his time at the Spanish club.
The teenager said he is honoured to have been given the shirt number after having worn number 22 for his former clubs.
“I really admire Zidane and the legacy he has at this club with the No. 5,” he said.
“It’s a number that inspires me. I am not trying to be the same as him, I am just trying to be Jude, but it is definitely a bit of a homage to how great he was,” he added.
— ENDS —