Jude Bellingham said it was a "dream come true" after captaining Borussia Dortmund for the first time in the 3-2 defeat to Cologne on Matchday 8 of the 2022/23 season.
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, and in fact the youngest of any Bundesliga team since such records were first kept in 1995.
“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 one of many highlights during Bellingham's three-year stint at BVB.
He became the youngest player ever to a century of appearances for Dortmund, aged 19 years and 80 days in first taste of a Revierderby against Schalke, and is on the shortlist for both the Golden Boy and Kopa Trophy.
Later in the second, he brought up the 50th win of his Bundesliga career as BVB beat Hertha Berlin in his 81th appearance in the league - taking the record off old friend Jamal Musiala as the youngest player to reach a half century.
His four goals in the UEFA Champions League is also a record for an English teenager.
Bellingham also shone for England in their 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."
That prediction was spot on, with the now Real Madrid star going on to start every game as England reached the quarter-finals.