In football, the paths of destiny can sometimes take unexpected turns. One such tale revolves around young sensation Jude Bellingham, whose dream of donning the iconic Blaugrana jersey was in a scrapbook from his childhood. Fast forward to 2023, and the English midfielder has indeed made waves in the footballing world, but he’s not doing it at Barcelona; instead, he’s a prominent figure at their arch-rivals, Real Madrid.
In May 2023, the football world got a glimpse of a young Bellingham’s aspirations, expressed in a scrapbook from 2009: “A professional footballer for Barcelona and England.” Barcelona fans quickly seized upon this revelation as a sign of destiny, anticipating his arrival at Camp Nou. However, as fate would have it, the Englishman signed for Real Madrid.
This Saturday, Bellingham will step onto the pitch for his first El Clasico showdown in Real Madrid colors. It’s an opportunity for him to establish himself as one of the world’s finest players and fulfill the ambitions of that young boy who once dreamed of wearing the Barcelona jersey.
According to GOAL, Barcelona came close to signing the former Borussia Dortmund man in his teenage years. While several top clubs, including Manchester City and Liverpool, sought his signature, the Blaugrana were in pole position to secure his services from Birmingham City. In 2019, they even had a scheduled meeting with Bellingham’s father, Mark. However, that meeting didn’t go as planned, and the reasons behind it were only recently unveiled.
The twist in this tale involves another English teenager, Louie Barry, who had previously chosen Barcelona over Paris Saint-Germain. He was the first English player to grace the La Masia academy. Unfortunately, Barry’s journey at Barca hit a rocky road, and this unsettling experience soon reached the ears of Jude Bellingham.
When the Catalan club met with Mark Bellingham in London, he failed to attend, citing that they had already signed an English player of Barry’s limited quality. Little did they know that this decision would lead Jude Bellingham to embark on a different adventure, eventually joining Borussia Dortmund in 2020.
So, while the dream of young Bellingham to play for Barcelona was once tantalizingly close, the footballing world has watched him bloom in the white of Real Madrid, making his mark in a different shade of rivalry, ensuring that destiny had its own unique path for this rising star.