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Rooney is my biggest influence, says Bellingham

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English and Real Madrid wonderkid, Jude Bellingham has paid tribute to Wayne Rooney as his biggest influence after scooping the prestigious Golden Boy award.

The 20-year-old midfielder, already a key figure for club and country, received the coveted prize on Monday in Turin, Italy, joining a list of legendary names like Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, and Rooney himself.

Bellingham, visibly humbled by the honor, singled out Rooney for his immense impact on his own development.

 “For me, I would probably say that Rooney was my biggest influence growing up,” he declared. “Being from England, the way he played, the way he fought… there are so many other players I’ve taken bits from, but he was a huge inspiration.”

This award caps off a remarkable year for Bellingham. He was named Bundesliga Player of the Season last term before his summer move to Real, where he’s hit the ground running with 15 goals in 17 games across all competitions.

“I’m just very lucky,” he reflected. “I’ve played with some amazing players and stolen loads of little techniques off them. I can’t be more grateful to everyone who’s helped me get here.”

Bellingham’s rise has been nothing short of meteoric. He starred for England at the 2022 World Cup, recently bagged the Kopa Trophy for best U21 player globally, and now finds himself leading the charge for Real Madrid at the top of both La Liga and the Champions League group.

 

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