Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Bellingham: Champions League triumph ´the best night of my life´

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Jun 2024

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Jude Bellingham described becoming a Champions League winner as the best night of his life after helping Real Madrid down his former club Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium.

Madrid clinched a record-extending 15th European crown on Saturday, claiming a hard-fought 2-0 win over Dortmund, who spurned several clear opportunities in the first half.

Dani Carvajal headed in Toni Kroos’ corner for the 74th-minute breakthrough, before an Ian Maatsen error allowed Bellingham to slip in Vinicius Junior for a late second.

At the age of 20 years and 338 days, Bellingham became the third-youngest player to start a Champions League final for Madrid, after Iker Casillas in 2000 (19 years, four days) and Raul in 1998 (20 years, 327 days).

He also became the third-youngest English player to do so with any team after Trent Alexander-Arnold in 2018 (19 years, 231 days) and Owen Hargreaves in 2001 (20 years, 123 days).

Speaking to TNT Sports immediately after the full-time whistle, Bellingham was lost for words to describe the feeling of becoming a European champion.

“I’ve always dreamed of playing in these games,” he said. “You go through life and there are so many people saying you can’t do things and days like today remind you why you do it.

“When it gets hard at times you start to wonder if it’s all worth it. Nights like tonight make it all worth it.

“I was okay until I saw my Mum and Dad’s faces. The nights they could have been home at seven o’clock but they were still out at eleven or twelve taking me to football.

“My little brother there who I am trying to be a role model for too… it’s hard to put it into words. It’s the best night of my life.”

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