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Jude Bellingham stars as England overcome Italy to qualify

The star boy was at it again...

England v Italy: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024 European Qualifiers Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Jude Bellingham did not feature during Friday’s friendly win over Australia for England, but now came the real show for the Brits. Italy travelled to Wembley, as things really started to heat up in the European Championship qualifiers. Many teams had already qualified in other groups now, and it had gotten to the point where a win here would secure qualification and the top spot of group C. Jude started in midfield with the number 10 shirt on his back, alongside some of the strongest players England had to offer. At the very least, the three lions would be looking for some form of revenge for the final defeat at this very stadium during the last European Championships.

Things started brightly for Jude, who got on the ball early and brought his Madrid-aura that constantly leaves defenders shaking and slow to react. England created the first few chances, but found themselves behind against the run of play when a good ball into the box fell to Gianluca Scamacca to tap into the net. England went into shock for the next 5-10 minutes, as Italy looked really dangerous and threatened to go two up with two strong long shots, and a decent chance inside the area. Just as it looked like the home side had shrunk into their shell, up stepped Jude Bellingham. The mentality of the young man shone through the TV screen, and looked far above that of his compatriots. Jude played a fantastic one touch pass to Harry Kane, before receiving it back and driving into the box. Once he reached the area, he was tripped over and a penalty was awarded. This was slotted home by Kane to make it 1-1. England then rose again and became the stronger side. Jude was at the heart of this, almost scoring at one point - however instead clashing heads badly with a defender. A draw at half time, and not quite enough to see England finish top.

The second half would be even better for the Brummie and his side. They would quickly take the lead, and the Madrid man would bag an assist as he found Marcus Rashford who cut in and struck past the keeper. England would extend their lead when Harry Kane notched again with a decent solo effort. The hosts took full control after this, and although Italy tried to swing back a couple of times, it appeared pretty much game over. Jude was not done yet mind, and went on a couple of mazy runs before being taken off in order to receive a standing ovation from the Wembley crowd. An assist, a penalty won and another star performance from the youngster. The game finished 3-1, England qualified for the European Championships (a competition in which Jude will surely be present), and Bellingham received the official man of the match award given out after the match. Just another day in the office for him.

England v Italy: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024 European Qualifiers Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Jude Bellingham has definitely improved Real Madrid, but I think that Real Madrid and it’s values have also improved Jude Bellingham - and the growth in his mentality from merely living and working in such an incredibly demanding environment has clearly had an immense impact on the young midfielder. It says a lot about his character when that same environment has in the past, proved too much for players far older, with a far bigger profile. His entire demeanour tonight, away from his club teammates, encapsulated Madrid’s values. This was everything for England, and proved to be the turning point. Now, Jude will return to Madrid for the coming games, keeping everyone excited to see what magic he will pull off next.

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