LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Jude Bellingham, the talented midfielder from England and Real Madrid, has clinched the 2023 Kopa Trophy, an award reserved for the best young player under 21 years of age.
This achievement comes in recognition of Bellingham’s outstanding performance in his early days at Real Madrid.
His memorable El Clasico performance, where he scored two crucial goals, including an incredible equalizer and a stoppage-time winner, contributed to his remarkable goal-a-game record in his initial 13 matches.
At 20 years old, Bellingham placed 18th in the Ballon d’Or ranking before making history as the first English player to win the Kopa Trophy since its establishment in 2018.
It’s worth noting that the Kopa Trophy acknowledges Bellingham’s form during the previous season, where he played a pivotal role in helping Borussia Dortmund secure second place in the Bundesliga and shine for England in the World Cup held in Qatar.
Bellingham’s journey to Real Madrid began in June, with the Spanish club securing his services for an initial fee of £88.5 million, potentially rising to a record-breaking £115 million, making it the highest deal ever for a British player.
His consistent excellence for the national team was highlighted by recent standout performances for England in victories over Scotland and Italy.
At the Ballon d’Or event in Paris, Bellingham expressed his gratitude, saying, “I just want to thank everyone who has helped me get to this point – from Birmingham to Dortmund and now Real Madrid and the national team. Thanks for the support; it means a lot – and more to come.”
Bellingham is now the fifth recipient of the Kopa Trophy, following in the footsteps of previous winners such as Kylian Mbappe (2018), Matthijs de Ligt (2019), Pedri (2021), and Gavi (2022).
He prevailed over contenders like Jamal Musiala, the Bayern Munich forward and former England youth teammate, with Manchester United striker Rasmus Hojlund also among this year’s nominees.