Jude Bellingham focused on winning everything as he targets trophies not records


Bellingham has become a mainstay for England and Borussia Dortmund aged just 19.

Jude Bellingham says his career arc is testament to an anything-is-possible mindset as the English teenager is eager to win it all.

From Birmingham’s hometown hero to teenage star at German giants Borussia Dortmund, the 19-year-old midfielder’s relentless rise shows little sign of abating.

There are few more exciting prospects in world football than Bellingham, who have already established themselves as a key part of trophy-hungry England and have been named Bundesliga Player of the Year after just missing out on the league title.

“The goal was always to win,” Bellingham told the PA news agency. “If you ask me what my biggest ambition in the game is, it’s to win it all. And I’m not afraid to say it.

“You know, everyone should have a goal like I feel like professional footballers.

“I’m going to do my best to make it happen, and if I don’t, it won’t be because I haven’t worked hard at it.”

“But yeah, I’d say records and stuff and individual records don’t excite me like trophies, so I think that’s my goal.

Bellingham, who was speaking ahead of the Bundesliga final, knows individual honors and records can come over the years, with England team-mates often suggesting he could surpass Peter Shilton’s record of 125 caps, having already made 24 appearances.

But such achievements are in the back of his mind as he seeks to maximize his abilities and opportunities.

“Football is my life, really,” said Bellingham, who hopes to inspire the next generation in his role as an ambassador for McDonald’s Fun Football, a program that provides free, inclusive soccer coaching for children aged five to 11 to more than 1,500 places. in the United Kingdom.

“I think I’ve put too much into it so far to stop and accept that I’m only going to play at a certain level and win so much.

“So I feel like the mentality that my parents and friends around me have always instilled in me is to go after everything.

That mindset and his tumultuous journey to date means he has little chance to take stock of his career – something he’d like to do this summer with family and friends.

“There are things I’ve had to deal with as part of German life,” Bellingham said of the move to Dortmund in 2020.

“I’ve probably dealt with it more behind the scenes than in front of the cameras and stuff, so I’m really grateful to have had such good people around me.

“I had good club staff at the time, of course I had Jadon (Sancho) who was here before me from England and he showed me the ropes a bit and I felt comfortable. Once I felt comfortable, I let my football do the talking.”

Bellingham certainly did and flourished in BVB’s famous black and yellow shirt with his leadership qualities helping him become the youngest player ever to captain.

“I think availability was the key,” Bellingham said in a self-deprecating way.

“I think because I’m available a lot of time, it means I’m on the pitch and I can show what I’m doing every game.” While the team revolves around me, I’m more of a support.

“I think you earn respect from that, to be honest, and obviously my performance was good enough to warrant that.

“Coach got to see other things that he likes to hold me accountable for, and whenever I’ve played, I don’t think the tape is going to change me.

“So yes, you take on a bit more responsibility, but I enjoy it. It’s a beautiful pressure that you want on you that I’ve wanted since I started playing football.

“Especially in Champions League games – that’s the biggest stage for me – and to have that pressure is really nice.”

Bellingham is very proud of its journey from St Andrew’s to Signal Iduna Park.

Life in Germany was an eye-opener, and his success there silenced those who tried to dissuade him from fulfilling his lofty aspirations.

When Bellingham was told he seemed to have an anything-is-possible mentality, he said, “Well, I guess I’m really kind proof of that.

“I think if I didn’t have that mentality, I wouldn’t have been able to get from the championship to where I am now, fortunately in two or three years.

“When you say that three years ago, everyone calls you naive and tells you that you need to slow down a bit.

“But if you put your mind to it and work hard at it, it doesn’t seem so crazy when it actually happens. So that’s my goal to try to continue chasing my dreams.”

:: Jude Bellingham spoke at the McDonald’s Fun Football session to announce his role as an ambassador for the UK’s largest local participation program for 5-11 year olds. Find your nearest free session at www.mcdonalds.co.uk/football

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