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Jude Bellingham has revealed that he still thinks about England’s 2022 World Cup defeat against France, and one moment in particular that could have changed the entire game.
The young midfielder starred for his nation in Qatar, scoring the Three Lions’ opening goal as he helped guide England to the last eight of the competition.
Despite still being a teenager, he was one of the players of the tournament, driving his teammates to the quarter-finals before a narrow loss to defending champions France.
Tottenham Hotspur striker and England captain Harry Kane both scored and missed a penalty in the game, with Les Bleus winning the match 2-1.
Bellingham has flashbacks to France game
While Bellingham is proud of his country’s efforts, he can’t help but think that things could have gone differently had he made a different decision in the build-up to the second penalty.
“You come to terms with it pretty quickly, to be honest, but I still think about the game at times,” said Bellingham, as per LiveScore.
“There was an instance in training where I had a shot and I thought: ‘That was just like the one that I had in the France game’, and if I put it more to the left, would we have gone through?
“I was involved in the first penalty where I flicked it to Bukayo [Saka], and the second one, when I put the pass behind to Mason [Mount] and I always think: ‘What if I’d just put it on Mason’s toe and he went and scored?’ And then there would have been no second penalty.
England youngster ready for Euro 2024 qualifying
Bellingham continued by saying that such thoughts cannot be pondered over for too long in football, with the next project always just around the corner.
The specific project in question for Gareth Southgate’s side is qualification for Euro 2024, with the Three Lions drawn against Italy, Ukraine, Malta and North Macedonia in Group C.
The fixtures get underway in March, with Bellingham ready to use the recent experience in Qatar as “ammunition” for the upcoming games.
“You overthink things, but I think you come to terms with it quickly because you can’t change it, whether you like it or not,” said Bellingham. “Then you’re on the plane home and think: ‘We gave everything.’
“We had a tournament that the country can be proud of. We put up a really strong fight against one of the best teams in the world.
“We went out narrowly and you learn to kind of use it as ammunition for the next ones, and I think that’s how I’ve taken it.”
Bellingham desperate to return to action
The 19-year-old has had a long way away from the pitch compared to his England teammates. Unlike other European leagues, the Bundesliga has taken a lengthy break since the end of the World Cup, with the campaign only resuming on January 20.
Dortmund return to action on January 22 at home to Augsburg, with Bellingham raring to get going after his well-deserved rest. The midfielder will be given an extra boost after being nominated for The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year Award 2022.
“After the World Cup I was just drained physically, and I said to myself: ‘I want to have a nice long rest’,” added the midfielder. “But then about two weeks into it, I thought: ‘Nah, nah, I need to go back in and get to work and finally be back’, and I can’t wait to get going again.”
Congratulations @BellinghamJude on being nominated for the #TheBest FIFA Men's Player of the Year Award 2022! pic.twitter.com/VgoRmsy6wY
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) January 12, 2023