Zinedine Zidane claims that Real Madrid's new signing Jude Bellingham is ready to play for the La Liga giants.
Bellingham has become Los Blancos' second most expensive signing in history. The English teenager has joined Carlo Ancelotti's side from Borussia Dortmund for €103 million.
The highly-regarded midfielder is set to follow in the footsteps of Zidane as he has been handed the No. 5 shirt. The Madrid icon has spoken glowingly about Bellingham's capture. He said (via Madrid Zone):
"Bellingham is an important player. He's ready to play for Real Madrid."
The England international's stock has quickly grown following sensational performances for Dortmund. He scored 14 goals and provided seven assists in 42 matches across competitions in the season gone by. The English teenager was named the Bundesliga Player of the Year.
The 19-year-old now embarks on a new adventure with Los Merengues and will hope to do Zidane's famous No. 5 jersey justice. The French icon was one of Los Blancos' greatest players, scoring 49 goals and providing 68 assists in 227 games. He won 16 major honors as a player and a manager at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“I really admire Zidane and the legacy he has at this club with the number five."
The English midfielder will now relax during the off-season before Los Blancos' pre-season which starts in July. He will look to help Ancelotti's men bounce back from missing out on the La Liga title to Barcelona next season.
England manager Gareth Southgate backs Bellingham to flourish at Real Madrid
England national team boss Gareth Southgate expects Bellingham to have no issues in adapting to life at Real Madrid. He lauded his midfielder when asked about his move to the La Liga giants (via The Mirror):
"Even when he came into our group, he was coming in to work with higher profile players and big characters. Jude had the humility off the field to get on with the group, but also the determination on the pitch to earn respect."
Southgate added that he thinks it is a great opportunity for the former Birmingham academy graduate:
“I am sure he’ll find that balance at Madrid as well - and it’s a wonderful opportunity for him.”
Los Blancos' new signing has not only shined at club level but also on the international stage. He became the third youngest debutant in Three Lions' history when Southgate gave him his debut in 2020.
He came off the bench in a 3-0 friendly victory over the Republic of Ireland. He has since earned 24 caps, scoring one goal and providing two assists. He impressed at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, showing maturity and leadership qualities alongside his talent.