1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Bellingham drags Dortmund to Champions League draw

October 11, 2022

When Erling Haaland left Borussia Dortmund many thought it would be a while before the club found another star. But in no time at all, Jude Bellingham has shown he is well on the path towards greatness.

Jude Bellingham applauds his teammates efforts
Jude Bellingham has become of the most exciting players in the world while playing at Borussia DortmundImage: Martin Rose/Getty Images

On a night when Erling Haaland watched from the bench as Manchester City failed to beat Copenhagen in Denmark, Jude Bellingham reminded Dortmund that the club didn't have to wait long for another star to emerge.

"He always wants to win, every training session, every game," Mats Hummels told Amazon Prime after Borussia Dortmund's 1-1 draw with Sevilla.

"I wish I had that kind of energy still," Hummels added with a smile. "He's played every minute ths season. He's allowed to make mistakes. I'd rather have him play that way and complain five times than someone who was silent for 90 minutes and was less ambitious."

Bellingham's value has been on the rise for a while, but his current run of form, particularly in Europe, is making him hit the headlines as often as Haaland is finding the back of the net.

A draw meant Dortmund missed the chance to secure early qualification for the knockout rounds of the Champions League, but Bellingham delivered another performance that elevates him further in the current rankings of the world's best midfielders. Even Ivan Rakitic, a once great midfielder now in the latter stages of his career, couldn't resist the chance to swap shirts with the Englishman after the final whistle.

Bellingham's equalizer was his fourth in four European games this season, and saw him better Wayne Rooney's record of three goals by an English teenager in one Champions League season. He strode a good 80 meters and, having started the move himself, got on the end of the cross to add another memorable goal to his fast-growing collection.

Bellingham falls down after putting the ball in the net
Jude Bellingham scores the equalizer for DortmundImage: Martin Meissner/AP/picture alliance

Not isolated

Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic recently warned that Bellingham must make sure he doesn't try to play his own game, and while that much is true, the club also appear dangerously reliant on him to often set the tone.

In a game between two tired teams, Bellingham was always there, either making a key touch or trying to force the issue. He was denied what looked a penalty in the first half when he was pushed over from behind and his vision for a vertical pass from slightly deeper in midfield looked sharp. He even tried to stop Tanguy Nianzou's header from going in after Dortmund's defense was left flat footed.

But the 19-year-old's desire to win can flare up when his teammates cannot match his quality. 

When Karim Adeyemi sold his pass short, denying Anthony Modeste the chance to sweep into an inviting goal, Bellingham threw his hand in the air in frustration. When Bellingham thought he had won a corner in the first half only to see it not given by the linesman, he told him exactly what he thought of the decision.

There's clearly a bite to his game, as the performance against Bayern Munich showed, but that shouldn't be mistaken for immaturity. As Hummels said, Dortmund need his energy and even ahead of the encounter, teammate Niklas Süle said: "I have rarely seen a 19-year-old player where you have the feeling that he could already have three kids at home - a father, a real family man."

At the moment, Bellingham is doing a lot of the work for family Borussia Dortmund, and sometimes not even that is enough.

"We didn't play well," Hummels said afterwards. "After halftime, we must have needlessly lost 20 balls... Football is a simple game but we often make it difficult for ourselves."

One of the ways Dortmund might make life easier for themselves is to give Bellingham a break because while he might be relishing the current role, the best run families tend to spread the workload around.