Atlético boss Simeone heaps praise on Jude Bellingham ahead of Madrid Derby

Atlético Madrid head coach Diego Simeone has this evening revealed his admiration for Real Madrid midfield standout Jude Bellingham.

Atlético, and Real, are of course set to lock horns in the latest edition of the Madrid Derby this weekend.

Fresh off sending their capital rivals packing from the Copa del Rey two weeks ago, Simeone and his troops will look to repeat the trick on Sunday, on this occasion in a La Liga showdown at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Speaking in anticipation of the clash, Atlético’s headmaster, on Saturday, was in turn questioned on a whole host of noteworthy topics.

And one such subject came in the form of the talents of the aforementioned Jude Bellingham.

England international Bellingham has of course enjoyed a frankly staggering start to life in Spain, since swapping Borussia Dortmund for Real Madrid last summer.

All told, across 27 appearances in all competitions to date, the 20-year-old has racked up 26 direct goal contributions, by way of 18 goals and eight assists.

And yet, when Atléti dumped their neighbours out of the cup last month, it came with Bellingham having been kept, for the most part, quiet.

During an interview with ESPN earlier today, as much was therefore put to the aforementioned Simeone.

The Argentine tactician, though, refused to take the credit, adamant that his side simply got ‘lucky’.

From here, Simeone went on to lavish praise on his side’s upcoming opponent, providing an insight into exactly what he feels makes Bellingham such a special player:

“He’s extraordinary. He’s at a club where he has everything to get better, I really like him. He has something that’s very difficult to figure out, which are late runs from midfield. For a defender, to focus on the ball or the player, if you look at the ball, you will lose him.”

Conor Laird | GSFN

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