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Mainoo backs Bellingham for Ballon d’Or success

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Kobbie Mainoo has backed Jude Bellingham to win the Ballon d’Or and said the England midfielder sets high standards every single day.

Bellingham began Euro 2024 with the winning goal as England opened their tournament with a 1-0 win over Serbia on Sunday evening.

The 20-year-old’s goal continued a dream debut season for the midfielder at Real Madrid, where Bellingham won a La Liga and Champions League double.

Bellingham was named as La Liga’s Player of the Season for 2023-24 and a strong summer with England could place him in contention for the Ballon d’Or in 2024.

Just four Englishman have ever won the award previously and none since Michael Owen 23 years ago, but Mainoo believes Bellingham is capable of being named world football’s finest.

“Yeah definitely [on whether Bellingham could win the Ballon d’Or]. I mean everyone knows how great of a player he is. We see it everyday in training here. He’s such a nice guy as well. He’s demanding. He has high standards that he sets. To play with him is great. it’s rightly so he’s a contender for the Ballon d’Or.”

Mainoo was introduced as a substitute during the win over Serbia and said he is ready to play if called upon by Gareth Southgate this summer.

“I’m ready to play, whether that’s off the bench or starting. Obviously, there’s other great midfielders in the squad in the Premier League or abroad like Jude [Bellingham]. I’m trying to train hard and be ready when I’m called upon.”

The 19-year-old made his debut for England in March after a breakthrough season at Manchester United, pledging his international allegiance to the Three Lions despite interest from Ghana.

“I’m proud of my Ghanaian heritage but it has always been a dream to play for England. I’m happy to be here. I considered it, but I want to play for England.”

Read – Mainoo calls England teammate a ‘dream’ to play alongside

See more – Five problems Southgate needs to solve ahead of England vs Denmark 

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