Real Madrid broke the bank for Jude Bellingham in July, bringing him from Borussia Dortmund for a whopping $110.19 million fee. Such a hefty price tag can put even the most experienced players under pressure, so no one expected 20-year-old Bellingham to start as well as he has.
The England international has thus far featured in four games for Los Blancos, netting five goals and providing an assist. His exploits have seen him fetch three Man Of The Match Awards in La Liga. No English player had won the Man Of The Match Award in La Liga before Bellingham.
With his match-winning strike against Getafe last Saturday (September 2), Bellingham’s equaled Cristiano Ronaldo’s start to life at Real Madrid. Read on to meet five Real Madrid legends whom Bellingham outscored in his first four La Liga matches:
#5 Karim Benzema – 3 Goals 1 Assist
Real Madrid signed Karim Benzema from Olympique Lyon in the summer of 2009, in the same window they brought Cristiano Ronaldo to the club. The French superstar enjoyed a fantastic start to life at the club, scoring thrice and claiming an assist in four La Liga games.
Benzema spent 14 years at the club before joining Al-Ittihad as a free agent earlier this summer. The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner played 648 games for Madrid in all competitions, netting 354 times and providing 165 assists.
The 35-year-old, who is the club’s second-leading scorer of all time, helped the club to five Champions League trophies and four La Liga titles, amongst other honors.
#4 Raul – 1 Goal 2 Assists
Arguably Real Madrid’s greatest-ever captain, Raul, officially graduated from Los Blancos’ reserve team in October 1994. In his first four La Liga games for the All-Whites, Raul scored once and provided two assists.
A gifted second striker, Raul had a knack for the spectacular. He could glide past defenders like they were not there, score from all angles, and pop up with match-winning displays whenever his team needed him to. Before leaving for Schalke in 2010, Raul played 741 matches for Madrid, scoring 323 times and providing 114 assists. During his stay, the Whites won three Champions League trophies and six La Liga titles, amongst others.
#3 Luis Figo – 1 Goal 4 Assists
Luis Figo’s controversial transfer from Barcelona to Real Madrid took place in July 2000, shortly after Florentino Perez was elected president for the first time. The former captain of Barcelona settled in nicely at the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring once and claiming four assists in his first four La Liga matches.
Figo, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2000, was at Madrid for five excellent years. He scored 57 goals and provided 93 assists in 245 matches for the club in all competitions, winning two La Liga titles and one Champions League trophy. Having won it all in the Spanish capital, Figo left for Inter in 2005.
#2 Zinedine Zidane – 2 Goals
Zinedine Zidane, whose jersey number Jude Bellingham proudly sports, joined Real Madrid from Juventus in July 2001. He enjoyed an impressive start to life in the Spanish capital, scoring twice in his first four La Liga matches.
Zidane, who won three consecutive Champions League trophies as a Real Madrid manager, retired at Madrid in 2006. Before hanging up his legendary boots, Zidane played 227 games for Los Merengues across competitions, recording 49 goals and 68 assists.
The 1998 FIFA World Cup winner won six trophies in the Spanish capital, including two La Liga titles and a Champions League trophy. His match-winning volley in the 2001-02 UEFA Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen remains one of the most famous goals in the tournament’s history.
#1 Ronaldo Nazario – 2 Goals
Widely hailed as one of the best strikers in soccer history, Ronaldo Nazario scored two goals in his first four La Liga matches for Real Madrid.
The two-time FIFA World Cup winner joined the 14-time European champions from Inter Milan in 2002. The Brazilian suffered his fair share of injuries during his stay at Madrid, but he was nothing short of sensational when fit. Before leaving for AC Milan in January 2007, Ronaldo played 177 games for the Merengues, scoring 103 times and claiming 35 assists.
During his stay at the Bernabeu, Ronaldo won two La Liga titles, one FIFA Club World Cup (then Intercontinental Cup), and one Supercopa de Espana.