Jude Bellingham might be the most expensive English player of all time, but if he keeps up his early performance levels he will turn out to be a bargain for Real Madrid. The midfielder scored a classy first goal for his new club to set them on their way to a 2-0 victory over Manchester United, a result which showed that despite the progress the Red Devils have made in the last year, the 14-times European champions are still a class above them.
Bellingham had already shown Madrid what he was capable of in his first match against AC Milan, and he built on that performance with an equally impressive display in front of a sold-out and raucous crowd in Houston.
But it was Madrid striker Joselu who truly got the fans off their feet by securing the victory with a stupendous overhead kick which left United’s debutant goalkeeper Andre Onana with no chance of saving.
It is only pre-season but Bellingham is already demonstrating why Real Madrid were prepared to pay up to £115 million ($149m) to sign him. He inspired Los Blancos to a 3-2 turnaround against AC Milan in his debut and here, in only his second outing, he scored his first goal.
And what a strike it was, the England midfielder controlling a lofted through ball from Antonio Rudiger with his left foot to wiggle past Lisandro Martinez before lofting the ball over Onana with a swing of his right boot.
Bellingham played in an advanced role in his 45 minutes on the pitch, linking up with Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr while also commanding the midfield. The 20-year-old appears to have taken no time at all to assimilate Madrid’s style of play, and if his first two matches are anything to go by, he looks sure to hit the ground running when the La Liga season starts up.