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Bellingham’s Ballon d’Or hopes up; Real Madrid beats Man City, Haaland falters

The England midfielder looked every bit the best in the world while some of the other contenders for the Golden Ball crashed out of Europe.

Jude Bellingham looks like he’s been a Real Madrid player for years. From the way he carries himself on the pitch to kissing the badge and shouting to supporters in Spanish, the summer signing has absolutely embedded himself among the Madridistas. On Wednesday, though, his credentials were tested even further, as Bellingham was tasked with playing a crucial part in a signature Champions League performance for the 14-time European champions.

Unsurprisingly, he passed with flying colours, turning in a tireless showing before burying his penalty in the shootout, which in turn led to him screaming with the Madrid faithful as Los Blancos beat Manchester City on spot-kicks to advance to yet another Champions League semi-final.

Rodrygo had given the visitors an early lead, as a swift counter-attack bypassed Man City’s high line. Bellingham started it with a fine touch on the halfway line, and four passes later, the ball was in the net – the Etihad stunned.

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