Jude Bellingham has quickly established himself as one of the world’s most promising, exciting up an coming young talents in world football for both Borussia Dortmund and the English national team. He joined the Schwarzgelben from Birmingham City in the summer of 2020 and has already made a total of 67 appearances across all competitions, earning his first senior call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England side just months after making the move to Dortmund. He’s already off to a cracking start in the Bundesliga this season, too, with two goals and five assists to his name after 14 match weeks.
Earlier on in his youth career, there were a lot of possibilities for Bellingham as far as where he could wind up going. In a recent interview, his former England youth coach Kevin Betsy explained why he ultimately chose Dortmund. He made it clear that Bayern Munich, among other top European clubs, was clearly an option. “At the age of 16, Jude could have chosen almost any top European club, including FC Bayern,” he said, and added that Dortmund was “known for developing young players” (Tz). Bayern also has a track record of making wise youth investments and developing young players through their ranks, but Betsy and Bellingham felt that Dortmund was a more clear path.
The goal was for Bellingham to get “as much playing time as possible,” which was most realistic at Dortmund as opposed to Bayern or a laundry list of other top clubs that were showing interest at the time. “That was the decisive factor in the end. He and his family wanted a well-thought-out solution that was particularly worthwhile for him in terms of football,” Betsy explained.
Unlike Bellingham, Jamal Musiala chose the Bayern route, joining from Chelsea’s books and subsequently decided to represent Germany internationally instead of England. The two players are both examples of what both Dortmund and Bayern do so well with regards to developing their young talents. Betsy knows that they’re both “exceptional personalities,” adding that “everything they do, they do with the aim of winning and improving, but also with great humility and respect for everything that surrounds them.”
Betsy continued in his admiration for the pair of crown jewels, saying that they are “very selfless, that makes them even more likeable to people. These are guys you like to take home to introduce them to your family. Boys that every mother and father would wish their sons to become.” Both Musiala and Bellingham have become key pieces for their respective, rivaling clubs, but Betsy does feel that the former will soon play an even bigger role at Bayern and that he’s “absolutely sure of it.” Arguably, Bellingham already clocks more regular minutes at Dortmund than Musiala does at Bayern when he’s fully fit. For Musiala, his impressed this season with limited opportunities, but faces stiffer competition in the squad than Bellingham does at Dortmund.