Jude Bellingham makes Real Madrid goalscoring history in Champions League win over Napoli
Not even Cristiano Ronaldo started his UCL career with Los Blancos as prolifically as England midfielder Bellingham.
At one point during the first half of Real Madrid’s Champions League victory over Napoli on Wednesday, things weren’t looking especially good for Jude Bellingham. Shortly before half time, the Englishman landed awkwardly on his ankle and it appeared for all the world he was about to be substituted by Carlo Ancelotti. But rather than rush to make a change, the Italian waited, enabling the 20-year-old to recover during the break and play a pivotal role as the LaLiga giants closed the game out in the second period.
Bellingham’s incredible Real Madrid start
There are few superlatives left to describe Bellingham’s start to life in the Spanish capital, which has seen him score 15 times in 16 matches, which includes 11 goals in 12 league games. Since moving to Madrid from Borussia Dortmund, the midfielder has won the Kopa Trophy and the Golden Boy award, two of the most prestigious individual prizes for players under the age of 21.
First to score in first four Champions League games
Earlier in the season, Bellingham matched serial Real Madrid goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo in scoring four times in his first three LaLiga games and he is now one up on the Portuguese, who some call “Mr Champions League”. Not even the five-time Ballon d’Or winner can claim to have found the net in each of his first four appearances for the club in the competition, which Bellingham has become the first player to do.
Before his injury scare, the England international ran in behind the Napoli defence and planted a firm header into the far corner of the net to put his side 2-1 up. Although his sublime assist for Joselu deep into injury time at the end of the game was arguably his moment of the match, the on-loan striker able to run onto an inch-perfect outside of the boot pass across the face of goal.
Bellingham pays homage to Zidane
Perhaps more than in any other game this season, Bellingham’s flicks, turns and deft touches harked back to a previous wearer of the number five jersey. In his first four months, Bellingham has already surpassed Zinedine Zidane’s highest single-season goal tally for Real Madrid.