Barcelona legend slams decision to name Jude Bellingham Golden Boy despite branding England star mix of three icons


BARCELONA legend Hristo Stoichkov has slammed the decision to name Jude Bellingham as the Golden Boy Award winner.

But the Bulgarian icon still branded the Real Madrid ace as a mix of three football stars – Michael Laudrap, Kaka and Paul Pogba.

GettyHristo Stoichkov has slammed the decision to name Jude Bellingham with Golden Boy award[/caption]

Bellingham, 20, has won the prestigious Golden Boy award following a sensational year for club and country.

He was one of 25 nominees that also included Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala, Manchester United’s Rasmus Hojlund, Brighton’s Evan Ferguson and Chelsea‘s Levi Colwill.

The midfielder becomes the third Englishman to claim the honour after Wayne Rooney in 2004 and Raheem Sterling in 2014.

But Stoichkov, 57, has made his view clear on Bellingham winning the title.

When asked if the youngster should have won the award he told Tuttosport: “No. I don’t dispute Bellingham’s value.

“He’s one of the strongest talents in the world: he’s got a lot of class and a lot of brains.”

The ex-forward may not consider Bellingham a champion, but he sees the youngster has the qualities of Barcelona legend Laudrup, AC Milan icon Kaka and Juventus’ Pogba.

He continued: “For me, it’s a mix between Laudrup, Kaka and the first Pogba. The future is yours.


“He will fight with Mbappé and 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.”

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Bellingham began the year helping Dortmund push Bayern to the final game of the Bundesliga season before an injury ruled him out of his side’s last game which they decisively lost.

Nevertheless, he finished the season with 14 goals and seven assists in 42 appearances.

He then joined Real Madrid in the summer for a British record £115million.

Bellingham has since scored 13 goals and provided three assists in 14 matches for Carlo Ancelotti‘s men.

However, Stoichkov argues that Bellingham’s scoring prowess is not enough to win the award as the youngster is yet to win a trophy with his club.

He continued: “How successful have all these goals been for Real Madrid?

“You know what my friend Mourinho would say about ‘titles’. So let’s talk about how the last Bundesliga ended. 

“Borussia Dortmund had a two-point lead over Bayern with 90 minutes remaining.

“They were playing at home against Mainz, while the Bavarians were in Cologne. What happened with 5 minutes to go? 

“Tuchel introduced Musiala, who scored in the closing stages to make it 3-2 for Bayern while Borussia were held to a 2-2 draw at home and goodbye to the title on goal difference.”

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As Barcelona‘s Gavi won the title last year he was exempt from the running this time around but Stoichkov had two other stars he would have given the award to.

The 1994 Ballon d’Or winner confirmed he would have crowned either Barcelona’s Alejandro Balde or Musiala with the trophy.

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