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Borussia Dortmund

‘Ridiculous’ – Jude Bellingham hits out at ‘rubbish’ criticism aimed at England team-mate Jordan Henderson

England midfielder Jude Bellingham said that goalscorer Jordan Henderson deserves ‘a bit of respect’ after he netted an opener for England against Senegal at the Qatar World Cup.

England were 3-0 winners over the African side in their first round knockout tie after both teams qualified from their respective groups.

Senegal started brightly and gave England reason to be worried but eventually Gareth Southgate’s men got on top of their opponents and forced a way through the defence.

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Borussia Dortmund’s teenage midfielder Bellingham teed up Liverpool midfielder Henderson for the opener, which would have been enough for the victory.

Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka each scored to ease any tension amongst England’s players, with the team now through to the quarter-finals, where they will face France.

Speaking after the game to ITV, the teenager acknowledged that the opening stages of the game were difficult.

“The first 35 minutes were tough,” he began. “They were really compact, high-energy, athletic. They got in a few times down the sides.”

He then explained the importance of the opener, saying: “It was one of those games when we needed to get the first goal.

“We knew when we did we’d be in a good position.”

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He then credited Henderson, and suggested that the experienced Liverpool midfielder did not get the recognition he deserved despite nearly a decade at the top of the game both with his club and country, having won the Premier League and Champions League under Jurgen Klopp.

Bellingham added: “The goal was really well worked. [Jordan Henderson] had a brilliant performance today. I see some of the rubbish that was said about him playing. Honestly, it’s ridiculous. He’s so under-rated technically, and he’s delivered again in a big game with a massive goal, so I think it’s time he gets a bit of respect.”

England will face France in Qatar on Saturday night where they will take on a team who ran out comfortable 3-1 winners over Poland earlier in the day, with one goal from Olivier Giroud and two more from Kylian Mbappe.

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