29 mai 2024

Bellingham Anticipates Dream Champions League Final Against Dortmund

Bellingham Anticipates Dream Champions League Final Against Dortmund

Bellingham Anticipates Dream Champions League Final Against Dortmund

Jude Bellingham has expressed that playing in the Champions League final is "a game I've dreamed of all my life" as he readies himself to shine for Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's event at Wembley Stadium.

Bellingham, 20, has already had an outstanding first season in Spain, netting 19 league goals and helping Madrid secure the LaLiga title.

The England midfielder will face his former club Dortmund in London, after transferring to Madrid last summer following three seasons with the Bundesliga team.

"It's definitely special," Bellingham remarked on Monday during Madrid's pre-final media day when asked about playing Dortmund.

"But I think the preparation has to be the same as it is for every game... It's important to be me, and not to worry too much about the emotional side."

Bellingham has played in 10 Champions League matches for Madrid this season, scoring four goals, although he hasn't scored since the group stage.

"I'm really excited. [The final] is a game I've been dreaming of since I started playing football," Bellingham said. "I understand the opportunity and I don't want to waste a second... It's a game I've dreamed of all my life. It would be foolish to get here and want to hide away from the occasion."

"I've always thought to dream as big as possible," he added. "It's a feeling I've always had growing up, that I wanted to play right at the highest level. I've worked hard, but there's a lot of luck involved as well. I don't shy away from saying how fortunate I've been. Now I'm here, I want to enjoy every moment."

Both Bellingham and teammate Vinícius Júnior are potential Ballon d'Or contenders this season if Madrid wins the Champions League.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Vinícius supported veteran midfielder Toni Kroos—who announced his retirement plans for this summer—to receive the award.

"I'd take winning the [Champions League] final, winning the Copa América [with Brazil], and the Ballon d'Or for Toni," Vinícius said. "It's his last season... We have to play for Toni, it's his last game for us. He's an even better person than player."

Alongside Bellingham, Vinícius has excelled this season, overcoming early injury issues to become a crucial player in Madrid's journey to the final.

"At first it was very difficult with my injury," he said. "But you have to take the good from the bad. My injury made me a better player. I've had time to train, to watch games.

"It's been difficult, but I prepared my head to go into the second half of the season. From January, I had to be at my best. I've prepared well, I'm doing the right things and I'm at my best, without doubt."