Could Jude Bellingham Take Real Madrid Back To The Pinnacle Of Europe?
As Europe’s most decorated club, Real Madrid has a habit of never falling too far behind their rivals on the European stage. Following a humiliating destruction at the hands of Manchester City in the semi-final of last year’s Champions League, Madrid’s long-time owner Florentino Perez decided to raid Europe for some of the most precocious talents in the game. No doubt this burning passion for getting Madrid back to the top will have been heightened by the fact Barcelona legend Pepe Guardiola manages Manchester City. However, with Vinicius Jr already making a name for himself and French footballing superhero Kylian Mbappe heavily linked with a potential world-record move to the Bernabeu, Perez means business this year.
The first colossal name to land in Madrid this summer was English footballing sensation Jude Bellingham, widely regarded as one of the best young midfielders in the world. Carlo Ancelotti will be immensely pleased that they’ve convinced the England international, who only recently turned 20, to join the colossal Spanish club. Bellingham is a player who will bring more than just style, skill, and charisma in abundance. He’s part of a broader, select group of modern players with vast appeal across social media and video games, which are highly effective ways to spread the news of his signing, a modern-day galactico in every sense of the word.
The Crucial Impact of eSports On Marketability
Marketability means something totally different in today’s market than it did 20 years ago when Real Madrid signed their Galacticos. Nowadays, tens of millions of highly engaged football fans get much of their football information and excitement through playing games like FIFA and watching eSports tournaments where FIFA plays a big role, with tournament games deciding jackpots worth millions of dollars.
Professional video gamers will often choose to play with their favorite teams, such as England, Borussia Dortmund, or their own All-Star team, of which Bellingham will likely be in all three. Given his high rating, it introduces millions of fans to him across the world. This helps fuel the market, and it helps legitimize other markets that exist solely because of the emergence of eSports, such as increasingly popular crypto eSports betting markets. This is especially true with gamblers under the age of 30, who are better equipped to deal with crypto and eSports than some older people in the market.
Bellingham is the face of a new wave of Gen Z football fans, crypto enthusiasts, football video gamers, and gamblers. His ability to combine these three markets and bring Real Madrid’s modern galacticos back into the world footballing news are just some reasons Perez chose to spend £88.5 million to obtain his services.
What Is It About Bellingham That Is So Special?
Many managers have highlighted Bellingham’s maturity and technical ability as his best attributes. Given that the former rock-solid triangular midfield pattern of Luka Modric, Casemiro, and Toni Kroos is a thing of the past, Ancelotti is confident that Bellingham will be able to fill the hole that Modric will fill when he inevitably leaves the club within the next few years.
For a player to even be mentioned in the same breath as the legendary Croatian is an honor in itself. Modric is one of the most decorated players of his generation, winning 5 Champions Leagues and breaking the duopoly of Ronaldo and Messi when he won the Ballon d’Or in 2018. Jude Bellingham exhibits the same technical ability, passing range, and ability to read the game. Although he still has a long way to go to reach the levels that Modric did, many Madrid fans are hopeful he will be able to spearhead a new era of success for Spain’s biggest club.
Off the field, Bellingham showed in his first press conference that he has the charisma and aura to fit the mold of an exceptional Madrid talent. His signing attracted global press, which gives an indication of just how special he is, a man of the match performance for Dortmund away to Manchester City cemented what many already knew, Bellingham can control games, even when he’s up against the elite of Europe, all while he’s still a teenager.
Bellingham has the ability, mentality, and charisma to become a giant at Real Madrid. In Ancelotti, he has one of the greatest managers in the game’s history, guiding him through his big moments and being there to lend a helping hand when he needs advice. This partnership could blossom and put Real Madrid right back at the top of their perch. It also appears as though the incredible Manchester City team has lost a key player with İlkay Gündoğan moving to FC Barcelona, so the stage could be set for Madrid to take another run at the Champions League next year, especially if they have Bellingham as the crown jewel of their immense new squad.
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