Jude Bellingham has been compared to Bryan Robson by England great Gary Lineker after the Borussia Dortmund sensation broke the deadlock against Manchester City to become England’s most prolific teenager in Champions League history.
In a game that needed a moment of inspiration to rouse a catatonic crowd following an uneventful and sleep-inducing first half, Bellingham duly stepped up to the plate 10 minutes after the restart to nod home and hand the visitors an unlikely lead.
After a whipped in corner was dealt with by City, Marco Reus curled a shot-cum-cross from just inside the box, and Bellingham appeared from nowhere to direct his delivery past a wrong-footed Ederson, who edged forward in anticipation of collecting the loose ball.
By firing BVB in front, Bellingham bagged his fourth Champions League goal, and by doing so, the 19-year-old became the most prolific English teenager in the competition’s history as a result. He managed to surpass Wayne Rooney, Phil Foden, Theo Walcott and Jadon Sancho, all of whom managed three goals during their teenage years.
Following the finish, and in conjunction with an already masterful display, in which the young midfield maestro was oozing class across the pitch with his uncanny close control and laser-guided distribution, the eulogies were in abundance on social media.
Most goals scored by English teenagers in #UCL history:
◉ 4 – Jude Bellingham
◎ 3 – Wayne Rooney
◎ 3 – Phil Foden
◎ 3 – Theo Walcott
◎ 3 – Jadon Sancho
Jude sets the record against an English side. ??????? pic.twitter.com/Rbzxs3asag
— Squawka (@Squawka) September 14, 2022
England great Lineker couldn’t contain his excitement and mentioned how influential he thinks Bellingham will be for the Three Lions at the World Cup later this year. And not to apply pressure on his shoulders, Lineker further likened his exploits to a certain Manchester United and England legend: Bryan Robson.
He tweeted: “I’ll be very surprised if Bellingham doesn’t play a big part in England’s World Cup campaign. Got a bit of Bryan Robson about him.”
— Gary Lineker ?? (@GaryLineker) September 14, 2022
Unfortunately for Bellingham, his side ultimately gave way to the pressure and kitchen-sink-throwing exploits of Pep Guardiola’s attacking juggernaut, as City bounced back with a four-minute turnaround.
John Stones was a rare man on the scoresheet with a thumping equaliser, before Erling Haaland came back to bit the hand that once fed him, with a gravity-defying stroke of the ball to win City the match.
Haaland will naturally steal the headlines, but Bellingham has furthered his burgeoning reputation here.