Jude Bellingham is the man of the moment. The Real Madrid star’s stock could hardly be higher after scoring two goals in El Clásico against Barcelona a week past Saturday, taking his overall goals tally for Los Blancos to 13 in as many games. Two days later, he picked up the Kopa Trophy at the Ballon d’Or gala, officially making him the best young player on the planet. Currently in the form of his short life, everything the Englishman touches turns to gold.
And that isn’t just true for his achievements on the field, also extending to jersey sales. According to online retail company Fanatics, more jerseys bearing the Madrid man’s name on the back were sold in Europe in October than any other players, including Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé, who have long been tipped to be the Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi of the “new” generation.
Like in the Ballon d’Or, the Manchester City striker is ahead of the PSG attacker in this particular ranking, with Mbappé having dropped two places after a previous had spell as number one.
Bellingham is joined in the top 10 by club teammate Vinícius Júnior (10th), still one of the most popular players worldwide despite a somewhat up-and-down start to the season because of injuries. Other than the Madrid duo and Mbappé, the other seven plays in the Premier League, with the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Pedri and Ilkay Gündogan, Barcelona’s biggest names, all missing out.
Manchester United’s poor start to the campaign doesn’t appear to have affected the popularity of Marcus Rashford (fourth), while Tottenham Hotspur captain Son Heung-min rounds off the top five. Mohamed Salah of Liverpool (sixth), City’s Kevin De Bruyne (seventh) and Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka (ninth) are perhaps unsurprisingly in the top 10, although how many would have expected United’s Alejandro Garnacho, not always a regular starter, to be in eighth?
Is it a shock that neither Ronaldo nor Messi make an appearance or simply the end of an era? After countless years occupying the two top positions, the pair, who no longer playing in Europe, of course, don’t even make the top 10. The same goes for Neymar, now plying his trade in Saudi Arabia along with Cristiano.
A changing of the guard is going on among the elite and the name on everybody lips – and shirts – is Jude Bellingham’s.