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Jude Bellingham and the road less traveled: the reasons behind his move to Real Madrid

Jude Bellingham’s decision to join Real Madrid goes deeper than allure and club prestige.

Real Madrid Unveil New Signing Jude Bellingham Photo by Alvaro Medranda/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Like Robert Frost before him, Jude Bellingham has chosen the road less traveled. At 19 years old, hailed as the best young English talent on the planet, the option to return home to England would have undoubtedly appealed to Bellingham and his family. Yet on June 15th, 2023, he sat in a chair in Madrid, explaining to reporters that both the on-field and off-field cultural experience of Spain will give him an edge over his British international teammates.

His presentation left little doubt: this teenager was wise beyond his years. Those 20 minutes provided a snapshot into Bellingham’s mentality. Each response offered more insight into the overarching question that many English outlets were yearning to answer: Why Madrid, why now? Why miss out on the EPL and a hero’s welcome home?

The answer became clear when reading between the lines of each calculated response. Madrid’s new number 5 wants to compete, wants to develop, wants to push his limits to see how far he can go as a player. “It’s never been about money. Never. I want to be out of my comfort zone”

Jude Bellingham is a departure from the norm, a rare breed of player that appears to be fading from the modern game. For that reason alone, Jude is a character who should be celebrated.

In his own words, he aims to “build upon the legacy of the number 5,” paying homage to his idol, Zidane. Like the Frenchman, Jude exudes a similar calmness that couples with stoic intensity.

And for Jude Bellingham, just as it was for his role model Zidane, it is not just about playing at Real Madrid, but about winning at Real Madrid. He admitted to watching historical matches and recognizing the club’s prestige and history, while stating, “I’d like to become one of the players that adds to that history”

It is evident that Real Madrid has not merely signed one of the best young talents on the planet; they have signed a fiercely competitive player, a “mentality monster” ready to take the Spanish bull by the horns. The English teenager had multiple options — he faced two diverging roads in a wood — and chose the one less traveled. And that decision should make all the difference as the player scales new heights.

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