Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti likened Jude Bellingham to Zinedine Zidane following the midfielder’s standout performance in their 4-2 victory over Napoli in the Champions League.
Bellingham’s headed goal put Madrid 2-1 ahead in the Group C match at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Giovanni Simeone opening the score for Napoli and Rodrygo levelling for the hosts.
– Explore ways for UCL success
– Watch on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, and more (U.S.)
Napoli’s Frank Zambo Anguissa evened the score to 2-2 after halftime, but Madrid’s youngster Nico Paz regained the lead before Bellingham’s assist allowed Joselu to secure the win in added time.
“It’s hard to compare two different eras,” Ancelotti shared during his post-match press conference when asked about the Zidane comparison. “What I see is [Bellingham’s] ability to penetrate the box, a quality Zidane didn’t have. And while Bellingham lacks Zidane’s individual brilliance, it’s a reflection of modern football, requiring physically dynamic players who can cover a lot of ground quickly.”
The English international has now scored 15 goals in 16 games for Real Madrid, hitting the net in every Champions League appearance for the club so far.
“He appeared quite fatigued in the middle of the second half,” Ancelotti observed. “It took him 10 minutes to recover, but in the final 15 minutes, he made the difference that helped us to win. It’s surprising. His adaptation to this style of football and club has been remarkable. He continues to impress every day, in every game. Not just us, but everybody is astonished by his potential and positive image.”
After Joselu’s 94th-minute goal, Bellingham urged his teammate to take in the applause of the Bernabeu crowd.
“Bellingham is a young and dedicated professional,” Ancelotti remarked. “He has adapted well to the dressing room, but he needs to improve his Spanish. No one is perfect!”
Madrid’s in-form striker Rodrygo commented, “I don’t have the words,” when asked to describe Bellingham’s impact. “It’s a pleasure to play with him.”
The 4-2 win confirmed Madrid’s spot in the Champions League round of 16 as group winners, with five wins out of five so far.
Dealing with an injury crisis leaving eight players unavailable, Madrid will host Granada on Saturday and currently lead the LaLiga table.
Denial of responsibility! Vigour Times is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.