Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid: Will Jude Bellingham win the Champions League against his former side?

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As Wembley Stadium prepares to host the Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, all eyes are on Jude Bellingham, the young English midfielder who will be facing his former club in what is undoubtedly the biggest match of his burgeoning career.

Los Blancos are seeking a record-extending 15th European Cup, and are the favourites to beat Dortmund in the Champions League winners odds. If Madrid are to exceed at Wembley, Bellingham will be a central figure in Carlo Ancelotti’s side’s success. 

So, with that in mind, let’s look at Bellingham’s journey to this point and how the Champions League final is set up for him to steal the spotlight in London. 

A rising star returns

Jude Bellingham’s journey to this moment has been nothing short of meteoric. Having left Birmingham City for Dortmund in 2020, Bellingham quickly established himself as one of Europe’s most promising talents.

His performances in the Bundesliga and European competitions did not go unnoticed, and it wasn’t long before Real Madrid came calling. Now, after a blockbuster move, Bellingham has the chance to lead his new team to European glory against the very club that put him on the world stage.

Bellingham’s impact at Madrid

Since joining Real Madrid, Bellingham has been a revelation. His ability to control the midfield, coupled with his knack for timely goals and assists, has made him an integral part of Ancelotti’s setup.

This season, Bellingham has consistently delivered performances beyond his years, culminating in a series of standout displays in the Champions League.

His crucial goal in the group stages and his commanding presence in the knockout rounds have been key to Madrid’s journey to the final.

The Dortmund challenge

Borussia Dortmund, however, are no strangers to upsetting the odds. Under the guidance of their manager, Edin Terzic, they have navigated what was deemed the ‘Group of Death’, before dispatching some of Europe’s elite clubs in the knockout stages.

Players like Gregor Kobel, Mats Hummels, and the revitalised Jadon Sancho, coupled with the striking prowess of Niclas Fullkrug, have all stepped up when it mattered most.

Dortmund’s coaches, players, and fans know all too well the capabilities of Bellingham and will be wary of the threat he poses.

Emotional and tactical battle

The final is poised to be as much an emotional battle for Bellingham as it is a tactical one. Playing against a club where he developed into one of football’s hottest properties adds a layer of complexity.

How he manages these emotions and whether he can exploit his intricate knowledge of Dortmund’s play style will be crucial.

Furthermore, Dortmund’s approach to handling their former star will be interesting. Will they employ a specific plan to stifle Bellingham, potentially using the physicality of someone like Emre Can to disrupt his rhythm, or will they focus more broadly on Madrid’s multiple threats?

Legacy

For Bellingham, this match offers a rare opportunity to cement his legacy early in his career. 

Winning the Champions League with Real Madrid against Dortmund would not only elevate his status but also endear him further to the Madridistas, proving that his departure was a step towards greater personal success.

Conversely, Dortmund are eager to prove that they can conquer Europe without their once prodigious talent, potentially writing a new chapter of triumph that echoes their 1997 Champions League victory.

As the final approaches, the question of whether Bellingham will lift the Champions League trophy at the expense of his former club adds an enthralling subplot to what is already a highly anticipated match.

The football odds are favouring Bellingham’s Madrid, but there are plenty of angles that make this an interesting matchup and it is by no means a foregone conclusion.