JUDE BELLINGHAM joked he is ‘not bad for a Championship player’ after being hailed for his debut Champions League season.
The England international joined Borussia Dortmund last summer for £25million after leaving boyhood club Birmingham.
In his first European campaign, he proved instrumental in Dortmund’s midfield, with ten appearances and a goal.
The strike came in the second leg of their quarter-final against Manchester City, which they lost 4-2 on aggregate.
But afterwards, the 17-year-old was asked to comment on his meteoric rise and Bellingham took the chance to poke fun at any prior critics.
He said: “Not bad for a Championship player eh?
“I think I’ve taken every game in my stride, I had a bit of a tough start away at Lazio and then since then I think all of my best performances in BVB colours have come in the Champions League, including tonight.”
“For me it’s brilliant to play in this competition and for this club, it’s a huge honour, so I can take a little bit away from that and learn from it but I’m still gutted we didn’t make it through.”
Bellingham was in demand at the end of last season, with City’s rivals United among the interested bidders.
But he moved to Germany in favour of more guaranteed game time, as Birmingham retired the No22 he wore.
Etihad boss Pep Guardiola was so blown away by Bellingham’s ability, he reckons the starlet must be fibbing about his age.
Guardiola said: “I cannot believe it, maybe he’s a liar! He’s so good for 17-years-old, he’s a fantastic player.
“There was one moment when he didn’t get the ball from central defenders, how he shouts and demands that ball to him at 17 means a lot.
“I spoke with his manager, Edin [Terzic], and he told me what you see in these two games is like every training session.”
Despite the high praise, it was Phil Foden, 20, who stole the headlines after the two ties, following his winning goals in both games.
Guardiola said: “You have the feeling that he is a guy who never hides.
“He always creates something. He is dynamic offensively, defensively with quality in the smaller spaces.
“He is learning right now not to take just one touch. He is able to make more touches when making decisions.
“He scored two important goals. The second goal in the Etihad and now helped us to be in the semi-final. We knew it from the beginning and how he grew up.
“In the quarter-final of the Champions League, he was the important player to go through to play against PSG.”