In-formed England and Real Madrid star midfielder Jude Bellingham has expressed delight at winning the 2023 Ballon d’Or Kopa Trophy award for the world’s best player under 21 at the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony held in Paris on Monday.
The 2023 Ballon d’Or Kopa Trophy was named after Real Madrid legend and Ballon d’Or winner Raymond Kopa, recognises the best-performing player in the world under the age of 21.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable start to his career at Real Madrid, scoring 13 goals in his first 13 games since joining from Borussia Dortmund in the summer transfer window.
The Kopa Trophy recognises his performances last season, during which he scored 14 times in 42 games for Borussia Dortmund. Bellingham also became the first English player to win the Ballon d’Or Kopa Trophy award.
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The former Borussia Dortmund star also helped England reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar.
Bellingham beats Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala, with former winners – Barcelona pair Gavi and Pedri and teammate Eduardo Camavinga to win the award.
Speaking to the audience in Paris, Bellingham said: “To win this trophy means a lot but to me the most important is team honours,” Bellingham said after receiving his award in Paris.
“Now I’ve got this one, the most important thing is to kick on and help Madrid and win trophies for many years.
“It is an honour to be in front of some of the best players in the world here and some of the best to have ever played the game.”
Bellingham, who came second to Pedri in the 2021 edition, signed for Madrid in a £88.5m move this summer after he rose to prominence at Borussia Dortmund and for the Three Lions.