For a second straight game since coming to Spain, Jude Bellingham raised his arms to soak up the love from his new Real Madrid fans after delivering goals in victories on the road.
Bellingham’s double inspired a 3-1 fightback at Almeria on Saturday, and took his tally to three goals in two games since joining the Spanish league.
The 20-year-old England midfielder debuted for Madrid last weekend with a goal to seal a win at Athletic Bilbao in their season opener.
He improved on that superb start for the 14-time European champions with his brace and an assist at Almeria to help overturn an early goal by the modest hosts.
“I’m 10 times better than I was last season. I feel really comfortable with these players and I’m learning every day,” Bellingham said.
“The level here is so high and I’m like a sponge, taking in everything my teammates tell me. That’s why I’ve started the season so well.” Vinícius Junior added a third goal to seal the victory after he received the ball from Bellingham.
Bellingham, who joined Madrid on a $142 million move from Borussia Dortmund this summer, scored eight goals in the Bundesliga last season. He looks ready to surpass that mark.
Wearing the No. 5 of Madrid great Zinedine Zidane, Bellingham has immediately taken on a leading role on the field in Carlo Ancelotti’s side. The coach credited Bellingham’s character, and the experience he has already accumulated at a young age, as key.
“His maturity, his personality and the three years he played in Germany are the reasons why he is adapting so well to our league and to our style,” Ancelotti said.
Madrid’s player wore T-shirts in support of Eder Militao, who tore a ligament in his left knee at Bilbao. That followed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois tearing a knee ligament in practice. Both will be sidelined for months after surgeries.
Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez struck twice as Inter Milan claimed a 2-0 win over visiting Monza in their Serie A opener on Saturday.
Inter, who are looking to improve on last season’s third-placed finish, did not control the game to the extent that they would have liked, but were the more clinical side as they earned a fifth successive opening-day victory.
“It was a good performance against a strong opponent,” Inter manager Simone Inzaghi told Sky Sports.
Martinez’s double ensured he kept pace with Victor Osimhen in this season’s Golden Boot race, after the Nigerian striker scored twice in defending champions Napoli’s 3-1 win over newly-promoted Frosinone.