Bellingham denies it’s all about him and Mbappe ahead of quarter-final

Kylian Mbappe (pictured) is in the hunt for the Golden Boot with five goals (Picture: Dave Shopland/Shutterstock)

Jude Bellingham has dismissed suggestions the World Cup showdown with France is all about him versus Kylian Mbappe.

Teenage midfielder Bellingham has lit up the tournament with a starring role for England, not least in engineering his side’s first two goals in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Senegal in the second round.

But that victory set up a last-eight tie against the holders, for whom star forward Mbappe has been in red-hot form, his brace against Poland ensuring their passage through with a 3-1 win.

Mbappe leads the race for the Golden Boot with five goals and is the most feared striker in Qatar, although Bellingham may well be the World Cup’s best young player.

However, the Borussia Dortmund man remained calm when asked about a head-to-head between himself and Mbappe.

‘I don’t know if it’s just me and him going toe-to-toe, we have many really good attacking quality players who will probably take all the limelight as they should,’ said the 19-year-old.

Jude Bellingham cheering after England won 3-0 against Senegal

Jude Bellingham (pictured) celebrating at the end of the England v Senegal game (Picture: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

‘But for me, it’s just about playing my role in the team and trying to win the game.

‘Mbappe is a brilliant player, one of the top two, three, possibly one in the world, so to test myself against him and the rest of the other quality players will be a pleasure and we are looking forward to the game.’

Bellingham’s England team-mate Luke Shaw maintains it would be foolish to overlook the rest of France’s talented forwards, such as Antoine Griezmann and former Arsenal and Chelsea marksman Olivier Giroud.

The 19-year-old has won praise from fans and commentators over his performances (Picture: Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Kylian also plays for Paris Saint-Germain (Picture: Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

Shaw, who has started all four games, attempted to cool talk Les Bleus are all about Paris Saint-Germain’s Mbappe. ‘Of course, after his performance (on Sunday) there’s going to be even more chat about him but we know he’s a world-class player,’ said the Manchester United defender.

‘[But] it would be very naive of us to focus purely on him. They’re reigning world champions for a reason and we need to focus on them as a whole team because they have brilliant players over the whole pitch.’

Bellingham, meanwhile, defended midfield partner Jordan Henderson, who opened the scoring against Senegal, following criticism of his selection.

The two embraced in celebration after Bellingham provided the assist and the teenager said: ‘I know he gets a little bit of stick for playing and, honestly, I can’t understand it for the life of me.

‘He’s played so well in these last two games and it’s a pleasure playing with him,’ added the former Birmingham youngster.


MORE :
Manchester United legend Park Ji-Sung backs Jude Bellingham to follow in Wayne Rooney’s footsteps


MORE : Jamie Carragher compares ‘freakishly good’ Jude Bellingham to 27-year-old Steven Gerrard

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