Champions League final marks a special reunion for Bellingham

PARIS.- A reunion in a place as dreamy as it is unexpected: English Jude Bellinghamone of the figures of Real Madrid, will face his previous club, Borussia Dortmund, at the legendary London stadium of Wembely, on Saturday in the final of the Champions League.

“At Wembley, against Dortmund, it's going to be something strange. I still can't believe it, but I'm really looking forward to that game,” Bellingham himself told TNT Sports after his team eliminated Bayern Munich in the semifinals. .

In the London stadium he will face many former teammates and friends. Also to Edin Terzic, the Dortmund coach who played an important role in their emergence on the international scene.

Trained at Birmingham City, with whom he debuted in the elite in the 2019-2020 season, Bellingham joined Borussia Dortmund at the age of 17 for the 2020-2021 season, still in a time of restrictions and games behind closed doors due to the covid -19.

At the Westfalenstadion he gained notoriety and went from being a diamond in the rough to the jewel in the crown, assuming an even more leading role in the 2022-2023 season, his last in Germany, once Erling Haaland had gone to Manchester City. .

He almost won the title in the Bundesliga with Dortmund, who painfully let him escape on the last day when they seemed to have everything in their favor.

But in the individual recognitions, Bellingham won the award for best player of that championship, as well as two awards for the best U-21 footballer of the season awarded by renowned sports publications, the Kopa Trophy (from France Football) and the Golden Boy ( from Tuttosport).

When his transfer to Real Madrid materialized at the age of 19 for 103 million euros (about 110 million dollars at the exchange rate at that time), the German club thanked him for what they had experienced together.

“Once Borusse (from Borussia), forever Borusse,” he wrote on the social network with the number 22, the one Bellingham wore there.

Hullabaloo upon arrival in Madrid:

The arrival in Madrid in June 2023 was received with the greatest of enthusiasm in a team that had just lost its French scorer Karim Benzema, who packed his bags for Saudi Arabia.

“He arrived at the best club in the world,” he was proud then in his presentation, while president Florentino Pérez considered him “one of those footballers that fans always want to see in a football stadium.”

The idyll was reinforced with a spectacular start to the season, in which Bellingham surprised with a perfect ability to adapt to his new team and to a championship like the Spanish one that he had not known until then.

He even assumed a role as a scorer that was not so marked at Dortmund and, although he later slowed down the scoring pace, he finished the Spanish League third in the scoring table, with 19, only surpassed by the Norwegian Alexander Sorloth (23, Villarreal) and by the Ukrainian Artem Dovbyk (21, Girona).

“Now he is doing his job, which is as an interior, as a playmaker, he is not as a center forward. The level of goals has dropped a little, but not the performance,” coach Carlo Ancelotti assessed on the occasion of the semi-final. of Champions.

With the Spanish League in his pocket and the Laureus Award for revelation athlete of the year, the Champions League final is the big goal before trying to reach the Euro Cup with England.

“There is one game left at Wembley and we are going to win. Hala Madrid!” he told fans during the league title celebration in the middle of this month.

As soon as the identity of the two Champions League finalists was known, the German newspaper Bild highlighted the fact that Bellingham's transfer agreement last year included an eventual bonus for Dortmund in the event that Real Madrid won the Champions League with the Englishman. in their ranks.

The amount of that percentage varies according to sources, but if Bellingham wins the title against Real Madrid on Saturday, Dortmund would have at least that consolation prize.