Jude Bellingham hails ‘proudest day’ of his life after signing for Real Madrid

Jude Bellingham hails ‘proudest day’ of his life after signing for Real Madrid

Jude Bellingham hailed the “proudest day” of his life as he spoke for the first time as a Real Madrid player.

Real announced the signing of the 19-year-old England international on Wednesday and he was unveiled in the Spanish capital on Thursday afternoon after signing a six-year deal.

The LaLiga giants paid an initial 103million euros (£88.5m) to land Bellingham, who moved to Germany from boyhood club Birmingham in 2020.

He had been linked with a return to England with the likes of Manchester City or Liverpool but ultimately decided to join the record 14-time European Cup winners.

With his parents watching on, Bellingham said: “Thank you for everyone for joining me on the proudest day of my life.

“The day where I joined the greatest football club in the history of the game. There are a lot of people to thank for getting me to this point – Borussia Dortmund and Birmingham City, the people that worked there.

“Also the bosses here (at Real Madrid); Mr President (Florentino Perez), Juni Calafat (scout), Jose Angel (chief executive).

“Of course, most importantly, my family for all of the support and making the deal as easy as possible, so thank you very much and finally, Hala Madrid.”

Bellingham was recently named Bundesliga player of the season after his starring role for Dortmund, who missed out on the title in agonising fashion on the final day of the campaign.

Upon his move to Dortmund, Birmingham made the unexpected step to retire his number 22 jersey at St Andrews.

Bellingham went on to score 24 goals in 132 appearances in Germany, winning the DFB Pokal in 2021.

Bellingham is the second-youngest man to score for England at a World Cup
Bellingham is the second-youngest man to score for England at a World Cup (Mike Egerton/PA)

He scored his first England goal in their World Cup win over Iran but is absent from the squad to face Malta and North Macedonia in the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers due to injury.

Perez, who later presented Bellingham with his new Real Madrid kit – with the midfielder wearing the number five shirt – welcomed the teenager to Madrid.

“He decided to join Real Madrid, the most prestigious team in the world,” Perez said at the unveiling.

“That is why we welcome today – at Real Madrid – Jude Bellingham.

“The day has arrived, the day you always dreamt of, we would like to thank you because you gave everything you have to be here.

“Thank you for your ambition – this is the most loved club and from today you will get all the values that represent Real Madrid.

“I’m sure you fell in love by watching how Real Madrid got five Champions Leagues in the last nine years, some unforgettable moments…Jude, Santiago Bernabeu is waiting for you.

“You will feel the history of this club, all the Madristas gather around this feeling that we will always help you out and do absolutely everything to win every single title.”

Bellingham is certainly ready to start challenging for major honours in Spain. He has long dreamt of a move to the 14-time European champions and recently told the PA news agency that he sees the Champions League as “the biggest stage”.

“The goal has always been winning,” he said.

“When you ask me what my biggest ambitions are in the game, it’s to win everything. And I’m not afraid to say that.

“You know, everyone should have that goal, I feel like, as professional footballers.”