Jude Bellingham’s Golden Boy victory has been questioned by Barcelona legend Hristo Stoichkov, who wonders “what he won” to merit such recognition.
Jude Bellingham earned the title of the Golden Ball in 2023, showcasing his talent at Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid. Despite individual accolades, the 20-year-old has yet to secure collective honors, prompting scrutiny over his receipt of the prestigious award.’
Barcelona legend Stoichkov acknowledges that Bellingham has the potential to become a future Ballon d’Or winner, comparing his skill set to that of Michael Laudrup, Kaka, and Paul Pogba. However, the Bulgarian icon remains unconvinced that Bellingham should have been chosen over Bayern Munich and Barcelona starlets Jamal Musiala and Alejandro Balde for the prestigious individual award.
Despite his doubts, Stoichkov recognizes Bellingham’s value
Stoichkov has told Mundo Deportivo: “I do not dispute Bellingham’s value. He is one of the strongest talents in the world: he has a lot of class and a lot of brain. For me, he is a mix between Laudrup, Kaka, and Paul Pogba. The future is his. He will fight with [Kylian] Mbappe and [Erling] Haaland for the next Ballon d’Or, but I would like to know what he won in 2023 between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid. Nothing.
“What success have all these goals brought to Real Madrid? You know well what my friend [Jose] Mourinho would say about the ‘titles’. Shall we talk then about how the last Bundesliga ended? Borussia Dortmund had a two-point lead over Bayern when there were 90 minutes left in the championship.
“They were playing at home against Mainz, while the Bavarians were in Cologne. What happened with five minutes left? [Thomas] Tuchel introduced Musiala, who in the final stretch scored the 3-2 for Bayern while Borussia did not go beyond a 2-2 draw at home and goodbye to the title due to goal difference.”