Jude Bellingham named world’s best footballer in Top Trumps rankings

Forget the Champions League trophy and the individual awards, Top Trumps has delivered its judgment: Jude Bellingham is the best footballer in the world.

The Real Madrid and England midfielder, 20, takes the top spot in a new ranking system, beating the likes of Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi in the game’s World Football Stars Top 200 series.

It comes after Bellingham played a starring role in the Champions League final at Wembley on Saturday to help Real win a 15th European title.

He capped it off by asking the Spanish club’s former manager José Mourinho to pose for a photo with his mother, jokingly telling him: “Sorry about that, my mum’s fancied you for years.”

The top female player in the Top 200 set is Poland’s Ewa Pajor, who ranks 32nd. England’s Keira Walsh, Leah Williamson and Millie Bright are also included.

Poland’s Ewa Pajor (centre) is the top female player in the Top 200 set. Photograph: Boris Streubel/Getty Images

The ranking system will be another category for children to come to blows over during car journeys, alongside the more typical groupings such as age, goals and height.

After Saturday’s match, Bellingham thanked his mum, Denise, his dad, Mark, and younger brother Jobe – a professional player for Sunderland – for their support.

He said: “This is the best night of my life. I was all right until I saw my mum and dad’s face. The amount of nights where they can be at home by seven o’clock and they’re doing trips at 11 and 12 at night to take me to football. My teammates, the staff, my family. The team behind the team is like the physios. It’s a massive group effort. I just can’t believe it.

“I always dreamed of playing in these games. You go through life and there are so many people who say you can’t do things. It gets hard at times but nights like tonight make you realise it was worth it and all those kinds of things. I can’t have dreamed of much more this season. I’m so grateful.”

Bellingham said after his £88m transfer to Real last year that his mum played the “biggest” role in his life. “Without my mum, sometimes I’d get too low with the lows or too high with the highs and I stay pretty humble because I’ve got her around,” he said. “She’s a great laugh as well.”

Fitness permitting, he will join the England squad in time for their final friendly before Euro 2024, against Iceland at Wembley on Friday night.

Jude Bellingham wearing his Champions League winner’s medal at Wembley on Saturday. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

A spokesperson for Top Trumps said: “Jude Bellingham ranks #1 based on his extraordinary talent, versatility on the field, and the remarkable impact he has made on the game at such a young age.

“Not only is he highly valued in terms of his market worth, but his ability to dominate the midfield, coupled with his leadership qualities and consistent performance in top-tier competitions, makes him an inspiration and solidifies his place at the No 1 spot.”

The Guardian