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Bellingham lauds relentless Madrid after stunning Champions League turnaround

Jude Bellingham credited Real Madrid’s relentless approach after they reached the Champions League final in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, with Joselu’s last-gasp brace firing them past Bayern Munich.

Madrid were on course for a disappointing semi-final exit when Alphonso Davies put Bayern 3-2 up on aggregate on the break, but Joselu came off the bench to score in the 88th minute following a Manuel Neuer mistake.

The former Stoke City striker then pounced for another close-range finish in the first minute of stoppage time, breaking Bayern’s hearts and booking Madrid’s ticket to the final on June 1.

Read our other football news stories here:
Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (4-3 agg): Joselu the hero in semi-final classic
Italiano hails ‘extraordinary’ Fiorentina for returning to Conference League final
Bayer Leverkusen: Alonso using 2022-23 Europa League woe as motivation

They will face Bellingham’s former club Borussia Dortmund in the showpiece game, which will be played at the midfielder’s international home at Wembley Stadium.

Speaking to TNT Sports after the game, Bellingham said: “At Wembley, against Dortmund… it’s a weird one. I can’t believe it; I’m so looking forward to it.

“At this point in the competition, anyone who is still in it deserves to be there, so to cherry-pick an opponent wouldn’t be fair. They’ve got there because they deserve to.

“That’s what the final is all about and hopefully it will be a great game.”

Madrid’s last triumphant Champions League campaign saw them overturn deficits against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in three successive knockout ties in 2021-22.

Bellingham says the atmosphere generated at the Santiago Bernabeu, as well as the club’s relentless approach, is the key to their European success, adding: “There’s a reason why we turn so many games around, why we always manage to turn it around in the second leg.

“It’s because of these lot – they give you an energy you can’t get from anywhere else. You come here and all they talk about is how they’ve had the 14th but now they want the 15th!

“The lads say it was the same when they won the 10th – all the fans wanted was the 11th!

“That’s why I love being here, you’re always in a dangerous position when you’re relaxed, but here they don’t give you the chance.”

Picture of Harry Carr

Harry Carr

Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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