Eighteen teenagers have been selected to represent their country at this World Cup in Qatar.
Many in that group may expect to be minutes away from the bench, while others may simply expect to be around the team and gain experience in senior setups with an eye to future tournaments. I can’t.
It’s rare to see teenagers dominate the game in their first start of a World Cup final. Jude Bellingham is here.
The eyes of Europe’s elite clubs are already on the 19-year-old, who spent an extraordinary 18 months in the Borussia Dortmund shirt. As analyzed by The Athletic, Bellingham is a generalist, an all-rounder who is not confined to a specific role and can play anywhere on the pitch.
Bellingham is therefore England’s No. 22 as well as the club.
“He said he wanted to be number 10. I said, ‘I think you can be 22.’ He asked me what I meant, and I said, ‘You are He can be number 4, number 8, number 10. He can do it all.'”
If ever there was a game that encapsulated his broad skill set in each midfield role, it was against Iran on Monday.
In his 18th appearance for England, Bellingham had 113 touches, more than any other midfielder on the pitch.
Only centre-back colleague John Stones had a better pass completion rate than Bellingham’s 97%, finishing anywhere from 4th, 8th and 10th in a game.
I looked up the exact method…