Jude Bellingham has been given Zinedine Zidane's famous No 5 shirt as he was officially unveiled as a Real Madrid player following his £88m move from Borussia Dortmund - with the England international disclosing that he chose that number rather than his customary No 22. 

Speaking to the world's media after signing a six-year deal, Bellingham was open about his admiration for the French icon. 

"I've said in many interviews how much I admire Zinedine Zidane. I'm not trying to be the same as him, I'm just trying to Jude, but it's definitely a homage to how great he was."


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Bellingham explained his decision to join Real Madrid amid interest from Manchester City or Liverpool.

"Money's not a thing for me," he insisted. "I don't think about money at all when I make these kinds of decisions.

"I spoke with people when I was given permission by Borussia Dortmund. I spoke to [Real Madrid chief scout] Juni [Calafat] and [managing director] Jose Angel [Sanchez] and I loved the feeling I got... It wasn't the case that the other teams were bad, it's just that for me, Madrid are the greatest."

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez joined Bellingham at the unveiling and said: "One of the best players in the world joins us today. Jude is here because he wanted to be.

"He could've gone to any other club, as many wanted him... but he chose to be at Real Madrid. So welcome and thank you for your ambition."

The transfer fee makes the 19-year-old the second-most expensive British footballer of all time after Jack Grealish, who joined Manchester City from Aston Villa for £100m in 2021. 

Bellingham arrived at Borussia Dortmund from boyhood club Birmingham City in the summer of 2020 and despite being just 17 at the time of the move, he quickly established as a key figure at his new club. 

The midfielder was recognised for his excellent performances during his debut season, being named the VDV Bundesliga Newcomer of the Season before pushing on to become part of the Bundesliga Team of the Season in the following two campaigns and winning the league's Player of the Season award in 2022/23.

However, he was forced to sit out the final day of the league campaign last month with a hamstring injury as Dortmund imploded against Mainz to see their title hopes go up in smoke. 

Bellingham, who is missing England's Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia with the same muscle issue, joins a star-studded midfield at the Bernabeu, comprising vastly experienced campaigners Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, as well as younger stars Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga. 

Toni Kroos comes on for Luka Modric against Athletic Club
Jude Bellingham is eager to "be like a sponge" around vastly experienced duo Luka Modric and Toni Kroos

Modric and Kroos are the two players Bellingham is especially keen to learn from.

"The things I'll gain [from them] will be unbelievable," the Englishman gushed. "Their knowledge of the game, the way they play, their experience will be so great for me.

"I'll be like a sponge around them, trying to steal anything they've got. They'll probably be annoyed with me after the first week or so."