Wednesday, July 24, 2024

´I felt like Ronaldo´ – Bellingham revels overhead-kick equaliser for England

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Jul 2024

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Jude Bellingham says he “felt like Ronaldo” while scoring a stunning overhead kick to send England to extra-time against Slovakia in the round of 16 at Euro 2024.

The Three Lions looked to be heading out of the European Championships on Sunday until Bellingham scored a 95th-minute equaliser.

Harry Kane then scored the winner in the first minute of extra time, with the captain later describing Bellingham’s strike as one of the best in England’s history.

Bellingham has admitted that while he was in the air, he compared himself to former Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored an iconic overhead kick for Los Blancos in the 2018 Champions League final.

“It was really instinct more than anything,” Bellingham said while speaking on England’s ‘Diary Room’ show. “It kind of fell in the perfect spot, and it was a little bit behind me.

“When I was in the air, I thought, ‘I’m six feet off the ground, and it’s like Ronaldo!’ But I’ve watched it back, and I still had one hand on the ground, so it wasn’t the most acrobatic.

“But it was a nice contact. Definitely one of the most important and memorable moments of my career so far.”

The England performance was drawing comparisons to their early exit at the hands of Iceland at Euro 2016 until Bellingham’s intervention, with his strike their first on target.

The Madrid man reflected on how close England came to an exit, but praised the team’s belief for getting them over the line.

“It was an emotional rollercoaster really, and probably not the most enjoyable way that you want to win a game,” he added.

“You want [to] feel comfortable and in control, but you’ve got to find ways to win, even if it means overhead kicks in 90 plus five minutes.

“The difference in emotion is huge – it’s one minute being dead and buried, as I saw the Slovakia bench all ready to run on, and you feel a bit disheartened and a bit gutted.

“It’s not the way I would’ve wanted it to end – I’m having a good time here with all the lads and the staff and one moment later, it all changes.

“You start believing that we could create one more chance and, luckily, we got it in.”

England will play Switzerland in their quarter-final on Saturday, with the Netherlands or Turkiye awaiting in the semi-finals if they make it through.

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