Jude Bellingham has been speaking about his decision to snub a move to the Premier League in favour joining Real Madrid but also revealed the role Liverpool played in that decision.
The 19-year-old has completed his move to Madrid with the Spanish side agreeing a €133.9million (£114.5m) deal with Borussia Dortmund to snap up the England midfielder.
The Spanish giants fended off strong competition from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City, who both staked their own claims to sign Bellingham this summer.
And Bellingham has revealed that Madrid was always his preferred destination, once they officially registered their interest.
Speaking at his unveiling in Madrid on Thursday, he said: “For a start, money is not a thing for me.
“I don’t think about money at all when I make these kind of decisions, I never have and I never will, I play the game purely out of love.
“I spoke with the people when I got permission from Borussia Dortmund, I spoke with Juni [Calafat, Madrid’s chief scout], I spoke with Jose Angel [Sanchez, Madrid’s CEO], and I love the feeling I got from the club, I couldn’t hide it.
“I told them more or less straight away what I felt about the club, after I made my decision I wanted it to all happen quickly.
“It wasn’t the case of the other teams are bad, or they weren’t good, it’s just that, for me, Madrid is the greatest.”
Liverpool CL loss played role in Bellingham decision
Bellingham also revealed that a secret meeting he held with Madrid’s recruitment team also played a major role in his decision, while watching them beat Liverpool in the 2022 Champions League final was another factor.
He added: “I think the exact moment is hard to say, I had the meeting where they came to my house and I was sold, to be honest, but I can’t remember when that was
“That was the moment when, for me, it was definite.
“Like I said, you’re always in admiration of the club. Watching them win the Champions League, I was at the final when they beat Liverpool, that was another huge factor, but there are a load of things really that go into making the decision to join this club.”
Bellingham also explained that moving out of his comfort zone was one of the main reasons why he decided against returning to his homeland.
He added: “Of course, at the World Cup and at the national team camps it’s hard, all of them are wanting me to come back to England and play for their teams, which I really appreciate.
“But I like the idea of this being out of my comfort zone, if you like. Maybe it would be an easier option to go back to England, my native country, and live there and play in the Premier League. But I couldn’t turn down Real Madrid, really. The club is so big, it just felt like the right move for me.
“Like I said before, it wasn’t because the other clubs were bad, it was because Real Madrid is where I want to be.”