This situation is becoming incredibly absurd. On the eve of his debut in the most important club game in the world, Jude Bellingham had commented, “There have been countless iconic games and unforgettable moments.” Now, he has created his own memorable moment, adding to the already ridiculous and fantastical beginning to his Real Madrid journey.
During their stay in Barcelona, the Rolling Stones’ famous tongue logo was displayed on the city’s red and blue shirt and lead singer Mick Jagger was spotted in the VIP box. To top it off, the song “Hey Jude” was played not once, but twice.
Regarding being iconic: what about this? It was a little past 6pm, the sun beginning to set behind the bleachers, when Bellingham stood in the corner of the arena and stretched out his arms once again, with his teammates cheering and yelling “again, again” behind him, as he nodded and whispered “yes” with his mouth.
During his first clásico, there were 92 minutes on the clock when he managed to sneak behind the Barcelona defence and score his 10th league goal of his debut season in Spain. This ultimately led to the defeat of their biggest rivals, Barcelona.
After trailing behind, Madrid had now taken the lead with a score of 2-1 and reclaimed their spot at the top of the table. Despite putting up a strong performance, Barcelona suffered their first defeat of the season. Xavi commented, “That’s Real Madrid. That’s the nature of football.”
This also occurred in Bellingham. The victor had not only been determined, but he also scored a remarkable goal to give Madrid a glimmer of hope. This created the opportunity for an unforgettable moment in injury time. The game had been challenging until that point, but with one swift kick of his right foot, everything turned around.
Bellingham made the final move into the area, following his initial play in the second minute where he took the ball from Andreas Christensen. However, Barcelona dominated until he scored the equalizer in the 68th minute. This was not only their earliest goal in a clásico this century, but also shifted the momentum of the game.
The intensity and passivity of Madrid were evident when the home team scored the first goal. Ilkay Gündogan was given space to advance through the midfield and made it to the edge of the area after four minutes. Although David Alaba attempted to intercept the ball, he unintentionally set it up perfectly for Gündogan to score on the rebound.
At that moment, Bellingham was struggling to get involved in the game while dealing with the annoyance of Gavi. Vinícius Júnior, who was being covered by Ronald Araújo, was still the biggest danger, but was only able to break away occasionally. His frustration was evident, often shown through exchanges with Xavi on the sidelines. Right before halftime, when he seemed to be making a break, Ferran Torres took him down with a tackle resembling that of rugby.
Gavi and 20-year-old Fermín López both had impressive performances. López hit a post and narrowly missed scoring from the edge of the area. Despite playing in Spain’s third tier last year, he appeared comfortable and confident leading Barcelona in the clásico, with the team looking in control. They nearly scored a second goal after halftime.
Iñigo Martínez used his head to redirect López’s pass onto the goal post. Araújo was the first to reach the rebound, but his shot was saved impressively by Kepa. Madrid continued to struggle in their attempts to challenge Barcelona and gain control of the game, which could have easily slipped away from them. João Cancelo managed to break through their defense twice, speeding into the penalty area from the right side in an attempt to score a second goal. However, his first shot went over the goal, and his second was deflected wide by Alaba.
Unexpectedly, abruptly, and violently, it occurred. Bellingham reversed his direction to retrieve the ball from 30 yards away. The manner in which he struck it was remarkable: with minimal motion backwards, as if it was effortless, the shot sliced through the air with remarkable accuracy and force, landing in the corner of the net before Ter Stegen could reach it.
The outcome of the game was uncertain, so there was no rejoicing or triumph just yet. However, it was bound to happen eventually because Jude Bellingham is a force to be reckoned with.