Dortmund's Jude Bellingham 'not even thinking' of World Cup
Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) - Borussia Dortmund’s teenage midfielder Jude Bellingham said he has not turned his mind to an off-season move, despite persistent rumours linking him to some of Europe’s top clubs.
Speaking after he helped guide Dortmund to the last 16 of the Champions League with a 0-0 home draw against Manchester City, Bellingham said the sheer amount of games at the moment meant it was hard to focus too far into the future.
“In all honesty I’m not thinking about anything like that. You (the media) will be angry with me as you won’t get a headline, but I’m just focused on the next games with Borussia Dortmund,” Bellingham said late on Tuesday.
“I’m not even thinking about the World Cup. I’m trying to win games with Borussia Dortmund and then we’ll see what happens.”
Bellingham, who played through an ankle complaint on Tuesday, said he hopes his recent performances will earn him a rest in Dortmund’s final Champions League group game, now that progress to the knockouts has been secured.
“Hopefully I’ll get a bit of a rest in Copenhagen, but you guys can ask (manager) Edin (Terzic) for me about that,” Bellingham laughed.
“The other league games are really important and we have to set ourselves up for the new year.”
Other than starting from the bench last week before coming on to win and convert a match-sealing penalty against Hannover in the German Cup, Bellingham has played every minute of every game this season – the only Dortmund player to do so.
Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, who saved a second-half penalty from City’s Riyad Mahrez to ensure Dortmund got a share of the spoils, said Dortmund’s qualification meant next week’s Copenhagen match “was no longer a knockout” game.
“It is very, very important that we were rewarded for our performance (with a win) for once,” Kobel said.
Bellingham credited the home fans for giving his side the edge, saying the visitors were “shocked” by the home support.
”(The fans) were unbelievable. Even the City lads were shocked,” Bellingham said.
“You could kind of see (on their faces) how happy they were to be witnessing something like that.
“I’ve said before, it’s not (just) a stadium or a set of fans, it’s like an experience.”
While Dortmund travel to Copenhagen next Wednesday for the final set of group stage fixtures, Man City will welcome Sevilla to Manchester.