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Emotional Bellingham 'couldn't have dreamed it better'

Jude Bellingham
Jude Bellingham scored four goals in this season's Champions League [Getty Images]

Jude Bellingham says he "couldn't have dreamed it better" after ending his first season with Real Madrid by lifting the Champions League trophy.

The 20-year-old set up the second goal for Vinicius Jr as the Spanish giants beat his former club Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in the final at Wembley.

Bellingham has enjoyed a stellar debut campaign at the Bernabeu, scoring 23 times in all competitions, winning the league title and being voted La Liga's player of the season.

"I've always dreamed of playing in these games," he told TNT Sports.

"When it gets hard at times you start to wonder if it's all worth it - but nights like tonight make it all worth it.

"It's got to be up there in terms of the perfect season. I can't put it into words, it's the best night of my life."

The England midfielder was visibly emotional after the game, initially struggling to find the right words in his post-match interview on TV, before saying he was "OK until I saw my mum and dad's faces".

Bellingham is now due to link up with the Three Lions on 8 June to prepare for Euro 2024.

'I'll always have respect for Dortmund'

Both Real Madrid and Bellingham struggled for long periods in the final, with underdogs Dortmund squandering numerous first-half chances, including hitting the post.

But Los Blancos grew into the game after the break, culminating in late goals from Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Jr.

Bellingham spent three seasons with Dortmund, playing more than 100 times for the German club before moving to Spain last summer.

"I have to be honest, they [Dortmund] were the better team in the first half," Bellingham told DAZN. "They could’ve been two or three up.

"But it’s just that character... [we can] come back to haunt you.

"The club I’m at now is so special to me and so is my old club. It wouldn’t be possible without them. I'll always be grateful and always have respect for what that club did for me."

Borussia Dortmund boss Edin Terzic congratulated his former player Bellingham after the game.

"When he left us I said the same thing that I said to Erling Haaland - that I was proud to be their manager.

"It is his first Champions League win and it is a proud moment for him.

"I know what Mark, Denise and Jobe [Bellingham's dad, mum and younger brother] are doing to get this success in the family. Congratulations to Jude."

Bellingham, who turns 21 at the end of June, went over to the crowd and placed his Champions League winner's medal around his mum's neck after the game.

She responded by kissing her son.

He then led her onto the pitch so she could have a picture with former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, who was working for TNT Sports.

Jude Bellingham celebrates with his family after winning the Champions League with Real Madrid at Wembley
Bellingham with his dad, Mark, mum, Denise, and brother, Jobe, after winning the Champions League [Getty Images]

'Much more difficult than we thought'

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, who has now won the Champions League five times as a manager, also admitted the game was "very difficult, much more so than we thought it would be".

His side failed to have a shot on target during the first half.

"I didn't like the level we were playing at," he told Movistar. "We lost the ball too often and in the wrong place. We let Dortmund play the way they wanted to – forcing turnovers and playing in transitions. That's where they're at their most dangerous.

"You never get accustomed to this. First half, we had to suffer. But second half, we lost the ball less and played better."

He added to TNT Sports: "It seems a dream but it is reality."