Carlo Ancelotti is the Best Manager I ever had!’ Jude Bellingham before Man City v Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti is the BEST MANAGER I’VE EVER HAD!’  Jude Bellingham before Man City v Real Madrid


Right, too fast as well. You said that once one of the reasons that you wanted to sign for Real Madrid for this club was to play games like the game tomorrow, so passionate games. What are your feelings going into such a decisive game? Are you nervous? Are you full of illusion? Excitement?

“I’m a little bit more nervous for this than the game, to be honest. Good evening, everyone, for a start. But, looking forward to the game more than anything, I think, like I’ve said before, these are the games you join a club like Real Madrid for. Really excited for the game and yeah, can’t wait to just get out and get playing.”

I get the feeling that Real Madrid are not favorites in this game and that Real Madrid are going to concede four. For all those people who don’t believe in Real Madrid, what would you say to them?

Well, you know, I think everyone spoke a lot about them. You know, they’re the treble winners, and rightly so, they’re an amazing team. But I think you’ve got to understand that that’s the impression from the outside, and that’s the kind of feeling from everyone else. I’m not a gambler, I’ve never been to the bookies, so I don’t know the bets and the favorites and things like that. But I do know that we’re Real Madrid and we’re a pretty good team ourselves. We’ve got some brilliant players, and yeah, I think that’s more kind of external noise, and internally we’re confident, and we’re trusting in the abilities that we’ve got in the room and in the changing room.

Hi, J Ben Ransom from Sky. We saw another one of your teammates get racist abuse at the weekend. First of all, how is Aelan? Second of all, from your experience, do you feel like this is an issue that’s getting worse?”

Yeah, it’s mad that you say that. I didn’t even know. I think in games where we go away in La Liga, especially, you almost get so used to it that you know, like I said, I didn’t even, I wasn’t even aware of the incident, and I think that’s a massive problem in itself.

More’s got to be done, whether it’s the punishment and how you react to it or how you move proactively to this kind of thing. I think it’s a horrible way for a player to have to prepare for a game knowing that they’re probably going to get racially abused. It’s disgusting, shouldn’t happen. The people in power need to do more, you know, especially with Vinnie in the recent weeks and, well, years actually.

I think the blame gets shifted more onto him because of maybe his play style and the way he likes to express himself, and I don’t think that’s fair. You know, the game would miss players like Vinnie if he decided to kind of take a break because of this kind of thing.

More needs to be done to support these kind of players, and it’s sad to hear because, you know, I get to know the lads really well personally, and you know, no one deserves that kind of thing. So yeah, it’s definitely a call out for the people who are in charge to take control. I doubt it will happen, and it’s going to be something that I imagine we will still have to just deal with going into games, but yeah, it’s kind of one of those things where you’ve just got to play your game, and hope that the people look after you and they’re not doing it well enough at the minute.

When you arrived at Real Madrid from Los Angeles, those first games, we saw an unbelievable evolution, the goals that you scored, it’s been wonderful, even up to the Valencia game when you were suspended for two games. Did that disrupt your rhythm? Has it influenced, you know, the decisions you made in those games as your level dropped a little bit since then?

I think, you know, obviously, I started the first half of the season really well, and even until January, obviously winning the Super Cup and things like that. And I think the main thing that probably killed my rhythm a little bit was the injury more so than anything against Jona. When you miss so many games, and you can feel a bit of pain.

And aren’t comfortable doing certain things. Finally, I get over that feeling of the pain in my ankle and play against Valencia, score what I thought was a perfectly good goal, and get suspended. But I’ve said before, you know, I’ve got to be responsible for my actions and that kind of thing.

But yeah, I think it’s definitely affected my rhythm. The one thing I had at the start of the season was I was playing every game consistently and felt like it was very clear what I was doing and things like that. And then in a few times, so far, the last couple of months, my role’s changed slightly, and you know, there’s been little things that I’ve had to kind of tweak.

It means that maybe I’m doing a bit more work for the team, which I absolutely don’t mind doing, but maybe I lose that effectiveness on the pitch. And like I said, it’s up to me to try and regain that. And you know, I’m confident, aware there’ll be criticism. I’m happy to take it on the chin. It’s all about how you respond, and I’ll be looking to do that.

Paul H from The Times, moving abroad and to a new kind of Club brings its own challenge in terms of the pressure of playing on the pitch and the changing culture, language, etc. Um, obviously, you’ve hit the ground running at Real. How have you adapted, and what do you like most about being at the club and the city?

Yeah, well, there are countless things I could name about being at the club, to be honest. I feel grateful every time I go into training, I wear that badge on my chest. It’s an amazing feeling. It’ll never get old. But in terms of being English and playing abroad, you know, I was at Dortmund for three years as well. I maybe took a bit of a pass that’s a bit unfamiliar with young players in England.

And yeah, it’s different, but it means that you learn a lot. And I can take a lot going back to the national team and things like that. But I’m really grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given in European football. I think maybe they wouldn’t have been as accessible in England. And I feel like I’ve made good decisions, thankfully to my parents, my family, the people who I have around me. So yeah, I think playing abroad is definitely a good idea for a lot of young English players, and hopefully, I’m showing that.

Interviewer: Hi. The first half of the Season, was absolutely wonderful, particularly in the first part of the Season. You know, you almost had kind of figures up there with Benzema, Ronaldo, 16 goals in the last 13 games. You’ve not scored as many. What would be a normal figure for you at the end of the season? And if you don’t score as frequently, does it make you anxious when you don’t score so regularly?

Jude: I think what makes me anxious is if I don’t score and the team doesn’t win. I think while the team’s winning and playing well, I feel comfortable. And I know that my game’s more than goals. I think if you watch the games, you can see that. And you know, it’s part of my game to try and add a wide range of skills and different assets to the team’s game. Of course, I want to score goals. I love scoring goals. And especially when you get into the rhythm of it, you don’t want to stop.

But I understand that you know, I can affect the game in different ways. And that’s it, really. I think I didn’t expect to come here and score as many goals anyway. But now that I’m here, I want to keep taking that responsibility and try and score more. In terms of having a target, I’ve never really been one for that kind of thing. I think when I joined us, people were asking me all the time, and I just said that I wanted to try and start with one and see where that takes me. So yeah, I’m up to 20 now. And hopefully, I can get more before the end of the season.

Tomorrow, you’re going to play your first or the biggest game you’ve ever played at Real Madrid. How do you see that game going? And how do you imagine yourself playing in this game?

Yeah, well, hopefully, the team wins. That’s the first and foremost thing that I’m looking for. Everything is second to that. The team has to win. The team has to play well. And if I contribute to that and add to that, then that would be brilliant. But yeah, that’s the main focus for me.

I want to try and be effective, have a good impact on the game, and work hard, help the team defensively, offensively. And yeah, the most important thing is that we get through to the next round. And it’ll be difficult. It’ll be a tough game, but we’ve got to be prepared for that. And you know, like I said just then, we’re a great team in our own right, and I think that we have to show our qualities and be brave. And hopefully, we can do that.

Hi. I’m J Jackson from The Guardian. I know you weren’t at Real last season, but the team obviously lost 4-0 here in the semi-final second leg. Can you use that as motivation? Does it matter? You know, have you talked about this game at all?

Yeah, I spoke to some of the lads that played last year in it and how it felt. And you know, they all have kind of similar feelings about it, that it wasn’t nice. I’ve been on the end of big losses as well and ones that feel painful, so you can understand their frustration.

But I think you have to kind of regulate that emotion when you come into the game and understand that it’s a new game. We don’t start 4-0 down, regardless of what anyone thinks. It’s an even score going into the second leg. And like I’ve said, we got to be brave and come out to play. The lads have spoken a little bit about it, but I think they’re all kind of professional enough to let that be the past and be ready to attack their next game.

You know the Premier League very well. You know City very well. What’s the most dangerous thing that Guardiola brings, and what weapons does Real Madrid use to beat City tomorrow?

Well, I think it’s the unpredictability of City. You know, you try and focus on one player a little bit too much, and they have 10 others that can cause problems. So, I think there’s no point in trying to take them individual for individual and seeing what each person can do.

I think it’s about trying to attack as a team and defend as a team and working strategically like that. As I’ve said, we need to be brave. We need to come out, be ready to play and play our game. And obviously, there’ll be tweaks based on what they can do as well. But it’s important that we remember who we are and go into the game with the right confidence.

Hi. How are you doing? You’ve said that two months ago, your role in the team has changed since two months ago. Has it been more of a systemic change? Where are you most comfortable playing on the pitch?

I think there’s been a few changes. It’s normal, you know, when there’s a lot of injuries like we’ve had this year and then you could try and adapt to different opposition. It’s normal that the coach tries to change the little things, and you know, it’s important and it’s worked, which is the key thing. You know, everything the coach has done this year has felt like it’s worked really well.

For me, I’ve kind of shown that I can play in different positions, and it’s not about really picking one that’s my favorite. It’s about just kind of taking in the information that I need to from the staff who are amazing and applying it to the game.

You know, sometimes there are little things I’ll be unfamiliar with, and it may take me a little bit of time to get used to it, but it’s about using those experiences like the first leg and like other games where I’ve had to make little changes to affect the game as much as possible. And that’s what I’ll try and do.

Tomorrow, we’re asking a lot about you, about your performances, about your goals. Ancelotti has managed to get great performances out of you. Do you think he’s the best manager that you’ve had that’s understood you best?

Jude: I think so, yeah. I think it would be fair to say that. You know, he’s completely, I think the sign of a good manager is when you can make you believe that you’re almost a bit better than maybe you think you were before. And I think he fills me with that kind of confidence every day at training and in the games.

And he gives me the freedom to kind of roam the pitch and be as effective as possible. Not only that, but he’s a top person. He makes you feel comfortable. Obviously, it’s a big move for me coming here with so many massive characters and so many big legends.

And I think he’s been amazing in helping me adapt and basically making me understand my own kind of potential if you like. It’s the first time that I’ve played maybe as more of a 10. I think in Dortmund, I was playing a lot deeper, and then Birmingham was all over the place. So, I think, yeah, it’s definitely down to him why I’ve kind of had the start that I’ve had at Madrid this season, and I’m really grateful for everything he’s done for me so far.

Interviewer: We’re going to do two last questions. David McDonald from The Daily Mirror: You surprised yourself at the speed and ease with which you’ve adapted to life at Real Madrid and the influence you now have in the team. Think it would probably take maybe a bit longer to settle. And with regards to Manchester City, they were obviously one of the teams that were interested in signing you last time. Was that ever a consideration for you, or was only one club you knew in for you?

Yeah, a couple of questions there. I’ll try and break it down a little bit. Yeah, your last one about the clubs. Yeah, I had good kind of chats with loads of clubs, including Dortmund, and you know, my family was brilliant in helping me kind of chew up that information because it’s difficult while you’re still in the season to kind of take in the information and process it and then still have to go and play at a weekend or in the Champions League or whatnot.

So, that helped a massive deal with the support from my family. But yeah, I had good conversations with other teams. I just felt like as soon as Madrid came in, it was a bit of a no-brainer, really. The size of the club, the project, the plan going forward, and the chance to play with such amazing players. I kind of just jumped to it, really. So yeah, that’s why I made my decision. And what was the one before? Sorry.

Interviewer: Was it, oh right. Yeah, I think that’s just down to the team, really. The lads, the guys on a day to day, you don’t see behind the scenes. It’s the football staff, it’s the manager, it’s the teammates, it’s all those kinds of things, the fans around the city. They make you feel really comfortable. And yeah, like I said, just so grateful for the whole Madrid, the city, and all the staff here and the players who have received me.

Interviewer: I wanted to ask you about the connection that you have since you arrived with Vinicius and Rodrigo. What do you expect? What can we expect from you three guys on the pitch tomorrow? And what’s your relationship like not just on the pitch, but off the pitch as well?

Jude: I think in general, we have a great relationship with all the lads, whether it be the senior lads or the young guys. But obviously, Vinnie and Rri are playing closely on the pitch, and I think when everything clicks, it’s something that’s kind of beautiful to play.

And there’s been a few games where, you know, we’ve all looked on about our best, and it’s just beautiful to play with players like that, to be honest. They make the job so much easier. They have so much quality, so humble, so kind of honest working lads as well, which really helps.

And yeah, hopefully, we’ll continue to play well, score goals, and win games for many more years. And yeah, it’s a great environment in the team at the minute, and hopefully, we can take it into tomorrow. Thank you. Thank you very much. Have a good night, guys.



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