Jude Bellingham reflects captaining Borussia Dortmund at 19: “The biggest part of leadership is that you lead by example.”

Speaking to UEFA.com ahead of Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League game against Manchester City on Tuesday night, Jude Bellingham discussed his reasoning behind joining the Bundesliga club as well as captaining Die Schwarzgelben in the competition. Edin Terzic announced in pre-season that Bellingham would be BVB’s third captain behind Marco Reus and Mats Hummels. 

“As soon as I got out for the warm-up and got a feel for the ball and the crowd, it was like any other game. The aim is always to win the game and I didn’t really think too much about [having] the armband on,” said Bellingham.

“The coach always says to me – and he’s said to me since, in the games where Mats [Hummels] has returned and taken the armband back – “You don’t need an armband to be a leader,” and I’ve always felt that I can lead the team without having the armband. The biggest part of leadership is that you lead by example with your performance first and foremost.”

In July 2020, Borussia Dortmund announced the signing of Bellingham and the now 19-year-old hasn’t looked back. Speaking on his decision to move to Germany, the England international said: “It was just the track record of the club with the young players.

“Obviously, I’d had a lot more time to actually make my decision because I had lockdown. It was tough because I knew I had a really big decision coming up and I had a lot of time to make it, and often, that’s the worst and the best [thing].

“The Bundesliga started a few weeks earlier than the Championship and I got to see what the team looked like. When I watched the team, I felt like there were places I could really improve Dortmund and where Dortmund could really improve me. And the more I watched the team, I thought: “Yeah, I’ve got a chance here.”

Tonight, Bellingham will start for Borussia Dortmund against Manchester City in the Champions League as they look to secure their place in the knockout stages.

GGFN | Daniel Pinder

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