Jude Bellingham is learning German in order to settle in at Dortmund – and hopes to emulate dad Mark’s strength of character.
Mark scored more than 700 goals as a semi-professional and played well into his 40s. Jude's 15-year-old brother Jobe plays at Birmingham’s academy and has already played for England Under-15s.
But Bellingham, living in a city-centre apartment, is currently living the dream.
"I was having two or three German lessons a week before the international break,” he said. “And becoming fluent is definitely something I want to do. The schedule has been really busy so I have not really got back on it but I am understanding more day by day, even though I find it tough to speak.
"Virtually everyone speaks English but the coaches prefer to do everything in German. I have found if I pick up three words in a sentence, that is enough to piece together what they are speaking about.
"I still have a few things I need to do for my sports B-Tech. Mum has reminded me plenty of times you are never beyond education, so I need to get that boxed off and get my tutor off my case.
“Both my parents are working class and filled me with the things you need to get along; not giving up, working hard, putting in the graft to go out and get something.
"I've seen the way they interact with people and how they treat them. When you have people like that, you don't have to be told how to behave.
"I used to watch my dad play all the time. You can see it in the way I play… that non-league style of toughness and being gritty when you need to be is reflected in my game.
"I'm really proud of Jobe and can't wait to see how he starts to develop over the next year or two. We've always pushed each other and the only times we fought, it was always about football and who was winning.”
Despite the massive leap from making his debut as a 16 year-old in August 2019 to the Champions League in the space of 18 months, Bellingham maintains he never gets carried away.
"I've never believed in my own hype and never wanted to get involved in it,” he said.
"My manager will send me stuff and I'll check it but I'm never too interested in what people say because, honestly, people's opinions change like the weather. One minute you're the best, the next you're not ready.
"Maybe I come across as mature but when you're in the environment I've been in for the last year, you have to grow up quickly and leave childish habits behind.
"What hit me straight away was that the talk of the Bundesliga being a lesser league is completely false. The teams are of a very high standard. Each team has a few players who are of great quality and I have to be at a certain level to my team-mates otherwise I am letting them and myself down.”
Source: Read Full Article