Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham expressed his appreciation for footballer-turned-pundit Micah Richards following his team’s 3-2 victory over Napoli in the Champions League.
Their exchange with the former Manchester City defender’s reaction became a memorable moment.
The young Englishman, who has made a significant impact at one of Europe’s top clubs, played a key role as Carlo Ancelotti’s side defeated last season’s Champions League quarter-finalists. Napoli took the lead around the 20-minute mark when Leo Ostigard scored.
However, with Bellingham in the lineup, there was no need to worry, as the 20-year-old assisted Vinícius Jr. and then scored a stunning solo goal within seven minutes of each other, helping Real Madrid regain control. After halftime, Piotr Zielinski scored from the penalty spot, leveling the proceedings.
A moment to top off an enthralling five-goal thriller came in the 78th minute as Federico Valverde’s thunderous shot ricocheted onto the back of a hapless Alex Meret’s head and into the back of the net. The full-time whistle blew and once again it was Bellingham earning the majority of the plaudits. And rightfully so.
Jude Bellingham and Micah Richards’ share heart-warming exchange
Post-match, the former Borussia Dortmund starlet spoke to CBS Sports, where renowned journalist Guillem Balague compared his skill set to two of panel, while a certain someone was painfully left out.
“Finally, when you defend because you had to do a lot of defending, you looked like Jamie Carragher. When you attacked sometimes, you looked like Thierry Henry.” Balague exclaimed.
Both Arsenal and Barcelona legend Henry and Liverpool cult hero Carragher were on the CBS panel and were elated with Balague’s beaming comments, though Richards – who was sat aside the aforementioned duo – failed to get a mention.
“Not Micah, no?” the charismatic midfielder replied, which he followed up with a chuckle.
Carragher and Richards proceeded to burst out in laughter, while Balague then went on to compare Bellingham’s threat from set pieces to Richards’.
“I’ll take that, it’s a good combination of three players. Hopefully Micah is happy with that!” the midfielder finished.
Elated with his inclusion, the former City and Fiorentina man jovially asked why the rest of the panel were present and wondered why the show wasn’t called the ‘Meeks Show’; however, he did then declare that Bellingham is in line to become a future Ballon d’Or winner.
“Let’s call this the Meeks show – everybody loves me! What are you guys doing here? Everyone’s asking for me, Jude where are you? I love you too, you’re absolutely fantastic. A Ballon d’Or is coming your way.”
Watch: Jude Bellingham makes Micah Richards’ night
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) October 3, 2023