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Published 16 June 2021 2 min read
England Men's Senior Team

The boy Bellingham

Written by:

Tom Dean

England's newest star shares his experience so far 
Jude Bellingham might be the youngest player ever to feature at a UEFA European Championships but he’s showing skill and maturity well beyond his years. 
The records keep tumbling for the 17 year old but nothing seems to phase him, as he perfectly demonstrated by holding his own after coming off the bench in England’s opening win over Croatia. 
The midfielder swapped Birmingham City for Borussia Dortmund last summer and hasn’t looked back since, lifting his first piece of senior silverware, the DFB-Pokal, in his final game of the season. 
Playing Bundesliga and Champions League football, Bellingham has clashed with some of Europe’s elite this season and Sunday was no different as he was introduced into a midfield battle with Luka Modric. 
The mercurial Croat is more than twice the age of Gareth Southgate’s starlet, but showed the exact talent and tenacity in his ten minute cameo that earned his selection in this final 26-man squad. 
“I just set my mind to something and managed to follow it through,” Bellingham said on Wednesday’s Lions’ Den connected by EE. 
“I never really thought I’d be here and if it [the tournament] had taken place last summer I would’ve been nowhere near it. I just had a good season, kept my head down, managed to get here and now I just want to represent my country and my family well. 
“It’s something you dream of as a kid, playing at Wembley, so do that with my family there, I’m really happy with that. It felt like a really together moment and to get on the pitch to top it off was really nice. 
“He [Modric] had a really good game for them and from the sidelines you’re trying to think about how you’d approach playing against him. Next minute you’re up against him and you’ve just got to work it out while you’re on the job.”
16 Jun 2021

Bellingham reflects on Croatia game

Watch Jude Bellingham reflect on the Croatia game on Wednesday's Lions' Den connected by EE

England’s current squad is flooded with leaders including skipper Harry Kane and Conor Coady, Jack Grealish, Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson, who are all captains of their club teams. 

But it’s another one of Southgate’s young stars, Reece James, that has taken Bellingham under his wing straight away, as well as his Dortmund team-mate Jadon Sancho. 

“I’m getting along well with Reece and he looks after me. It’s good to stay around him but I think he might hate me by the end of the camp,” he joked. 

“He’s just won the Champions League and is one of the best players in his position in the league, and maybe in Europe. To get what I can from those kinds of characters is brilliant. 

“Jadon is also like a big brother to me and if I ever need anything he’s always there for me regardless of what it is. He’s a good guy to have around.”

Bellingham concluded his Lions’ Den appearance by earning a signed shirt and ball for England fan Rachel in the basketball challenge.