Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Jude Bellingham after the midfielder’s stunning performance against Sevilla on Wednesday, claiming the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard weren’t as good as the Borussia Dortmund star at his age.
Bellingham, who was captaining Dortmund aged 19 years and 98 days, scored one and set up another as the German side maintained their grip on qualification for the knockout stages.
And Ferdinand, speaking on BT Sport, said the football world ‘hasn’t seen’ what Bellingham is producing right now as hype continues to build around the midfielder’s future.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham received high praise on Wednesday night
BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand said the football world ‘hasn’t seen’ anything like Bellingham
‘What he’s doing in his position at his age, we haven’t seen,’ Ferdinand said.
‘The best of our generation, Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes, them guys… Viera, Roy Keane, they weren’t doing this.
‘He still has to go on and prove it over a long period of time but they were not doing what he is doing right now, influencing games at this level, captaining a team at this level, he is the full package.
‘Mentally, this kid’s a beast, no doubts about him.’
Bellingham became the first teenager in Champions League history to score in three consecutive appearances, the first English teenager to start a game as captain of their side in the Champions League and the youngest captain to score in a Champions League match on Wednesday.
Joe Cole, also working as a pundit for the game, echoed Ferdinand’s views, describing the Dortmund man as one of the best youngsters in the world.
‘Along with Erling Haaland, he’s the best young player in the world at the moment, that’s for sure,’ said Cole.
The 19-year-old became the first English teenager to captain a side in the Champions League
Bellingham, 19, scored one and assisted another as Borussia Dortmund thrashed Sevilla 4-1
‘I watched him play for England over the two games and he was our best player, at 19.
‘To captain the club, the maturity, his dad I think was a semi-pro footballer so he’s obviously been guided right.
‘When we grew up with Frank [Lampard]his dad was a top footballer, and he had this footballing maturity about him and Bellingham has obviously got that as well, coupled with his undoubted God-given talent.
‘He is unstoppable.’