Jude Bellingham reveals why he joined Real Madrid over Liverpool & Man City

  • Jude Bellingham spoke ahead of facing Man City in the Champions League
  • Real Madrid won 2023 transfer battle over Liverpool & Man City
  • "I had conversations with other teams but it was a no-brainer really"
Jude Bellingham is thriving at Real Madrid
Jude Bellingham is thriving at Real Madrid / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Jude Bellingham has explained that joining Real Madrid last summer was motivated by the "project" that was presented to him and everything the club represents, turning down the chance to sign with other European giants in the process.

Liverpool and Manchester City were most keenly pursuing Bellingham alongside Madrid last season, but it was the latter who convinced him to pick them and a €134m transfer was sealed in June.

"I had conversations with other teams but when Madrid came in it was a no-brainer really," the England midfielder said ahead of facing City in the Champions League this week.

"The size of the club, the project, the plan going forward, the chance to play with such amazing players: I just jumped at it. That's why I made my decision.

"There are countless things I could name about the club. I feel grateful every time I go into training and wear the badge on the chest."

Jude Bellingham
Bellingham is in 2024 Ballon d'Or contention / Visionhaus/GettyImages

90min reported shortly after the 2022 World Cup that Bellingham's own decisions were key to resolving his future. The first choice he had to make was whether to leave Borussia Dortmund in 2023 or not. Madrid, Liverpool and City had also confidently presented their respective pitches to him. City were hopeful given the appeal of working with Pep Guardiola, who had just agreed a contract extension until 2025 at the time, while Liverpool believed Jurgen Klopp was a similar lure.

Madrid's pull was Carlo Ancelotti and the way that he has successfully moulded Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Aurelien Tchouameni and others from promising youngsters into world class players.

Liverpool later pulled out of the race, with Dortmund's asking price beyond they were willing to pay. That left Madrid and City in competition for his signature, while Dortmund retained hope they could agree a new contract with a fair release clause to keep him for at least another year, but a meeting in early May between Bellingham’s father and Madrid chief scout Juni Calafat proved decisive.