Quick Reads

How Jude Bellingham’s first 10 appearances numbers compare to Real Madrid greats

Manav ChowdhuryManav Chowdhury
October 21 2023
Jude Bellingham Real Madrid

The English star has had a great start to life with the Los Blancos

Jude Bellingham has made a great start to his Real Madrid career. After 10 games, he has scored 10 goals and sits top of LaLiga goalscoring charts. When Bellingham made the move from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid in the summer for €103m, there were high expectations based on the transfer fee alone.

Bellingham had proven himself to be an exciting player, but no one would have expected his start to go so well. They say that the legendary white shirt hangs heavier than any other, but no one in the glittering history of Real Madrid had ever breezed through the opening months of their time at the club as impressively as Ronaldo. That is until Bellingham sauntered along.

Real Madrid have had some iconic players put on the famous white kit, and Bellingham has a way to go before he can reach the same status as some of them and the early signs are promising. A fantastic start to life as a Real Madrid player on its own, but how does Bellingham’s start compare to Los Blancos greats?

Toni Kroos – 0 Goals and 3 Assists

A tall and athletic right-footed midfielder, he is considered to be one of the greatest midfielders of all time known for the range and accuracy of his distribution with either foot, his technique, vision, creativity, reading of the game, and his ability to dictate play in midfield or set up goals with his passing and ball delivery from set-pieces. But Kroos’ role was a lot more reserved at the start of his Real Madrid career, playing deep in midfield, with three assists in his opening 10 matches that’s why he was not able to score goals but provided three assists and it he didn’t took a lot of time to become a fan favourite.

Luka Modric – 1 Goal and 0 Assists

A technically gifted midfielder, Modrić is typically deployed as a creative playmaker and sets the tempo of the match by controlling possession from the middle of the pitch. He is also noted for his tactical intelligence and versatility in both attack and defence, as well as his vision, interpretation of space, and work rate. Signed in the summer of 2012, Modric was labelled one of the worst La Liga signings of the season, he scored only one goal against Real Zaragoza and many fans wanted him out of the club. But as time went on he became a club legend.

Ronaldo – 3 Goals and 1 Assist

Ronaldo is regarded as one of the greatest and most complete forwards of all time. Nicknamed Fenomeno, he was a prolific goalscorer, and despite being more of an individualistic attacker, he was also capable of providing assists for his teammates, due to his vision, passing and crossing ability. He was an extremely powerful, fast, and technical player, with excellent movement, as well as being a composed finisher. Highly regarded for his technical ability. He scored only three goals in the first ten games, two of those goals actually came on his debut, coming off the bench to net twice in 14 minutes in a 5-2 win over Alaves.

Karim Benzema – 3 Goals and 2 Assists

He is a creative, skillful, quick, agile, and prolific forward, who is good in the air and capable of playing off the shoulders of the last defender, and has been described as an immensely talented striker who is strong and powerful and a potent finisher from inside the box with either foot, as well as his head, despite being naturally right-footed.  

As everyone knows, he was playing in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo, second fiddle to the Portuguese superstar. He scored his first goal in his third match, against Xerex in the league and followed that up with two goals against Tenerife and an assist vs Marseille in the Champions League. Currently plying his trade in Saudi Arabia for Al-Ittihad he is a Los Blancos legend.

Kaka – 3 Goals and 4 Assists

Though he was technically designated as a #10 on starting XI’s and did have the capacity to operate between the lines when needed. What Kaka is most renowned for is his abilities as a ball carrier, and that part of his game has aged remarkably well with time, helped by the fact that he possessed one of the best change-of-pace dribbles. He could simply pick up the ball from deep and turn on the jets from there.

The 2007 Ballon d’Or winner brought the creative juices to the Real Madrid team in 2009/10, recording three goals and four assists in his opening 10 games across all competitions.

David Beckham – 3 Goals and 6 Assists

Throughout his career, Beckham was considered one of the best and most recognisable players of his generation, as well as one of the greatest free-kick exponents of all time.  Predominantly right-footed, his range of passing, vision, crossing ability and bending free-kicks enabled him to create chances for teammates or score goals, attributes that saw him excel as a right winger, despite his lack of significant pace. Beckham hit the ground running and then some at Real Madrid, scoring three goals and recording six assists across his first ten appearances.

Zinedine Zidane – 4 Goals and 2 Assists

Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Zidane was a playmaker renowned for his elegance, vision, passing, ball control, and technique. He received many individual accolades as a player, including being named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998, 2000 and 2003, and winning the 1998 Ballon d’Or.

He moved to Real Madrid for a world record fee at the time of €77.5 million in 2001, which remained unmatched for the next eight years. Zidane truly hit the ground for Madrid when moved into a more central attacking position with a run of four goals in four LaLiga games, despite Real Madrid struggling as a whole. In his 10th game, Zidane recorded his second assist for Real Madrid, in a 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo. He is a legend of the club and also helped win the club several trophies as a manager as well.

Raul – 5 Goals and 1 Assist

A prolific goalscorer and a highly creative forward, Raúl is regarded as one of the greatest and most consistent forwards of his generation. He was also capable of playing as a number 10 behind the forwards, Raúl was a quick, left-footed player, who was capable of scoring both in and outside the penalty area with his accurate and powerful shot and had a penchant for scoring goals from chips.

He possessed excellent ball control, vision and technical ability, and was effective in the air as well. Raul made his Real Madrid debut in October 1994, four months after his 17th birthday.  All 10 of Raul’s games came in the league and he scored some of the crucial goals for the team.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 10 Goals and 2 Assists

It was hard to ignore there was certainly a void to be filled at the Bernabeu. Ronaldo is, by pretty much any measure, the best player in Madrid’s history. For nine glorious years, he effectively ran Madrid. Ronaldo smashed every goalscoring record for Los Blancos and won everything there was to win. Madrid was never dead when Ronaldo was on the pitch, he could turn games on his own, and make it all look very easy. Cristiano Ronaldo was the marquee signing of the summer of 2009, for a record-breaking £80m.

He netted on his La Liga debut against Deportivo La Coruna and netted five goals in his first four games, one of the best goalscoring starts in the competition’s history. There were also two goals on his Champions League debut for Real Madrid against FC Zurich, and another two goals, plus an assist against Marseille. Unfortunately, Ronaldo’s start was hampered by injury and he didn’t reach 10 matches until December, scoring and assisting against Valencia in the league.

Jude Bellingham – 10 Goals and 3 Assists

Wearing the No.5 shirt for Real Madrid and weaving his way through opposition defenders on his way to a masterful individual goal, it was hard not to invoke memories of Zinedine Zidane while watching Jude Bellingham. It is, though, difficult to recall any player who has had such an instant impact on the 14-time European champions. Bellingham, though, looks ready to take on that mantle.

For all of his platitudes about being humbled by the shirt, and understanding the pressure that comes with playing at Santiago Bernabeu, Bellingham plays like he’s the best in the world. Currently the top scorer in LaLiga with eight goals and two assists, two goals and one assist in the Champions League, he has helped his team to get a new attacking edge through him.

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