Jude Bellingham captained Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday at the age of just 19.
Even though Dortmund lost the game, succumbing to a 3-2 defeat against Koln after initially taking the lead, it represents a landmark moment in Bellingham’s prodigious young career.
Still nine months shy of his 20th birthday, the midfielder has played over 100 times for Dortmund and has made 161 career appearances at senior club and international level already.
He was a first-team regular at former club Birmingham aged 16, having his number retired when he left in the summer of 2020, and was one of the few England players to actually impress during the recent international break.
Indeed, Three Lions colleague Declan Rice labelled Bellingham the ‘future of English football’.
Bellingham had already been added to Dortmund’s senior leadership group within the squad during the summer alongside usual skipper Marco Reus and vice-captain Mats Hummels. With Reus injured and Hummels unwell, the captaincy naturally went to the next in line.
Speaking about the decision to hand Bellingham the Dortmund armband, coach Edin Terzic stressed that age is not an important factor.
“He's someone who leads from the front. He didn't get it for free - he worked for it,” the BVB boss told Sky Sport Germany ahead of the Koln game.
“It does not matter how old he is or how long he's been with us. He represents much of what we want to see on the pitch. That's why he absolutely deserves it.”