Jude Bellingham, 17, becomes the youngest ever player at a European Championship



Posted Sunday, June 13, 2021 by theathletic

Jude Bellingham, 17, becomes the youngest ever player at a European Championship

Jude Bellingham has become the youngest ever player to appear at a European Championship.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder came on as a substitute during England’s opening game at Euro 2020. He replaced Harry Kane during the closing stages of Sunday afternoon’s game.

Bellingham became the third-youngest full England international when he made his debut for England in November last year.

Who was the previous youngest player at a Euros?

The current record for the youngest player at the Euros is Jetro Willems, who, at the age of 18 years and 71 days, featured three times for Holland at Euro 2012.

Bellingham, at the age of 17 years and 345 days, has broken that record now.

Is there a risk the record could be broken again?
Yes. Bellingham does have competition, though, with Poland’s Kacper Kozlowski.

Kozlowski is younger by 109 days, and would break the record if he makes a single appearance at the tournament.

Poland open their tournament against Slovakia on Monday, so Bellingham's record could only last 24 hours.

Who is Jude Bellingham?

Bellingham is one of the hottest young prospects in European football.

A central midfielder, he made his senior debut for Birmingham City in August 2019, becoming the youngest ever first-team player for the club.

Having made over 40 appearances for Birmingham in the 2019-20 season, Dortmund pipped Manchester United for the teenager’s signature last summer.

From the outset, Bellingham has continued to defy expectations and break records despite his fledgling career at the Bundesliga club. For example, he became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer when finding the net in his first competitive match at Dortmund.

How has he played for Borussia Dortmund this season?

Bellingham’s first season at Signal Iduna Park was meant to ease him into top-flight football.

Both Lucien Favre and caretaker coach Edin Terzic soon realised, however, they had no choice but to make the 17-year-old a mainstay in midfield.

He has played with a maturity and drive that belied his years, providing cover for defence and reliable distribution to the front men.

Bellingham gained plaudits for his outstanding displays in the Champions League, particularly against Manchester City in the quarter-finals, and rounded off a spectacular debut season at the club by helping Dortmund qualify for the Champions League and lift the DFB-Pokal Cup.

The question therefore no longer is whether he’s good enough to be a regular at this level but whether the Bundesliga club can keep improving as quickly as he does.

Has Bellingham impressed for England?

Bellingham has seamlessly translated his all-round midfield ability at club level to the international stage.

He has played well for England whenever he has appeared for them, justifying his role against Croatia.

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