Monday, June 17, 2024

Bellingham hails ´world-class´ Ancelotti after Champions League heroics

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Jun 2024


Jude Bellingham lauded Carlo Ancelotti for unlocking previously unknown potential in his game as the pair celebrated Champions League success on Saturday.

The England international ended his first season in the Spanish capital with LaLiga and European glory, after the 2-0 victory over Bellingham’s former club Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium.

A battling victory secured Los Blancos’ 15th trophy in Europe’s top competition, at least eight more than any other side (Milan, seven), as Ancelotti made further history.

The Italian has won the European Cup/UEFA Champions League more times than any other manager (five), with three of those coming in charge of Madrid.

That is also the joint-most for a manager in charge of a specific team, along with Bob Paisley at Liverpool (three) and Zinedine Zidane, also at Madrid (three).

Bellingham was quick to hail the work of veteran boss Ancelotti before the party started for Madrid in London.

“He has unlocked a part of my game that I didn’t know I had,” Bellingham told TNT Sports. “That is the thing about world-class coaches, they make you realise how good you can be.

“They test the limits of your potential. It is like being at school again, you learn something new every day and get better and better.”

This was the sixth winning campaign for Madrid quadruple Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Dani Carvajal and Nacho in the Champions League, taking them level with Paco Gento (six) as the players who have won the European competition the most times in history.

Working alongside those players comes with its challenges, though, Bellingham says.

The 20-year-old continued: “Special feeling. Some of my team-mates have five or six titles and they said enjoy your first as it’s a feeling like no other when you reach the top of the mountain.

“It’s important to maintain that level but never forget your first and enjoy it. They were the better team for the majority but it comes down to moments and if you don’t kill us, then it will come back to haunt you.”

Having celebrated their league and continental double, Madrid could soon welcome the arrival of world-class forward Kylian Mbappe, who is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expires.

With Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo usually either side of him up top, Bellingham expressed his excitement over an enticing link-up with the France attacker.

“It would be amazing if a player like him arrived,” Bellingham added. “One of the best in the world.”


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