Jude Bellingham comments explained as behind-the-scenes details in England camp emerge

Jude Bellingham may be conducting himself in the eyes of the great Michael Jordan (Image: Getty)

Jude Bellingham proved his mettle with a dramatic last-gasp leveller against Slovakia in the Euro 2024 round of 16 stage, echoing the legendary Michael Jordan’s competitive spirit. After netting a sensational overhead kick in the dying seconds, Bellingham beelined to the elated England supporters and proclaimed “who else?”

The young star’s actions have drawn parallels to basketball icon Michael Jordan, known for his famous line “it became personal with me” as he faced off against rising stars vying for his throne, reports the Mirror.

The Independent reports that England’s squad has been enjoying Michael Jordan’s ‘The Last Dance’ during their Euro 2024 campaign, influencing Bellingham’s recent press conference responses to mirror Jordan’s intense competitive nature. Despite the popular meme “and I took that personally” being a misquote, it encapsulates Jordan’s attitude towards anyone who doubted him – turning them into adversaries he was determined to silence.

Bellingham appears to be adopting a similar mindset at Euro 2024, with his post-match comments signalling that the England team is intent on shutting out any distractions and focusing on delivering high-quality performances. After the game, Bellingham said: “You hear people talk a lot of rubbish. It’s nice when you can deliver and give them a little bit back. For me, football, being on the pitch, scoring goals and celebrating is my release. Maybe it was a message to a few people.”

When asked about his “rubbish” comment, the midfielder channelled his inner-Jordan, stating: “You know what I mean by the rubbish. People talk a lot. You do have to take it personally a little bit.

“We work so hard at this game. We come in every day, we work hard to put on a performance for the fans. Sometimes it doesn’t go well and sometimes it feels like there’s a bit of a pile on, it’s not nice to hear. But you can always use it and for moments like that, it’s nice to throw it back to some people.”

Michael Jordan is regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time (Image: Getty)

Bellingham also found himself in hot water with UEFA following his goal celebration, narrowly escaping with just a fine and a suspended ban. The midfield maestro caused a stir with a controversial crotch gesture after netting his crucial goal, drawing the attention of UEFA’s disciplinary committee.

He received a €30,000 (£25,400) fine and a one-match suspension, which is under a probationary period of one year from the decision date. This means Bellingham will be sidelined for a future match only if he commits another infraction within the next 12 months, allowing him to participate in the remainder of Euro 2024, providing he stays out of trouble.

This warning, coupled with England’s turnaround against Slovakia, should serve as the motivation the team needs to return to their peak performance a sight fans have seldom witnessed in this tournament. The team has faced valid criticism for their uninspiring displays and narrow victories, leaving supporters with little optimism.

However, with Switzerland next on the list in today’s quarter-finals, and the squad just a few strides away from consecutive final appearances at the Euros, could Bellingham’s inner-Jordan resurface?

England will be aiming to demonstrate they are a team ready and eager to end a 58-year drought for international triumph. The Three Lions will face off against Switzerland at 5pm, with fans able to catch the action on BBC1 from 4pm or via BBC iPlayer.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1919707/Jude-Bellingham-Michael-Jordan-England-Euro-2024