Jude Bellingham said it was a "dream come true" after captaining Borussia Dortmund for the first time in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Cologne.
Although the result dampened the occasion, the England international nevertheless spoke of his pride in becoming the Black-Yellows' youngest skipper, in the absence of the injured Marco Reus.
“It’s a dream come true really,” Bellingham told bundesliga.com. “When I first signed for this club, it’s something that I never even though was possible until I met the players and realised that they can give me the belief to one day be the captain. It’s something that other people always mentioned to me and I brushed off.
“I’m just really grateful to be given the chance today, but ultimately a bit disappointed because we lost the game.”
Watch: Jude Bellingham on "dream come true"
Being named as captain was the latest highlight in a season which, while still being young, has already been filled with momentous moments for the 19 year old.
He brought up a century of appearances for Dortmund just prior to the international break, in his first taste of a Revierderby against Schalke, and is on the shortlist for both the Golden Boy and Kopa Trophy.
His chances of winning either or both of those awards were already given a boost by his goals in both of Dortmund’s UEFA Champions League fixtures against Copenhagen and Manchester City, taking him to four goals in the competition – more than any other English teenager.
Though the second-youngest ever Champions League goalscorer is yet to open his account in the Bundesliga this season, he did tee up Julian Brandt for the opening goal against Cologne – his first assist of the current campaign – and struck in the DFB Cup first-round win over 1860 Munich.
Bellingham also shone for England in their recent UEFA Nations League clashes with Italy and Germany, supplying an assist in the latter fixture. “I like Jude, I think he's an amazing player," said Bellingham's England teammate Jordan Henderson. "He's a fantastic professional and his mentality is really key for his development.
"There will be a lot of pressure on him at a young age, but of course he's a top, top player, and I'm sure he'll have a big part to play [at the World Cup] in Qatar."
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