Bellingham ban a ‘blessing for Southgate’ as pundit digs up Dortmund example to condemn England star

Will Ford
Hamann Bellingham England
Dietmar Hamann really doesn't like Jude Bellingham.

Jude Bellingham being banned for his lewd gesture during England’s win over Slovakia could “be a blessing” for Gareth Southgate, claims a pundit with quite the grudge against the Three Lions star.

Bellingham saved England’s blushes in the last 16, scoring a brilliant equaliser in the 95th minute to keep them in the tournament before Harry Kane secured their progression with an extra-time header.

But the Real Madrid hero was investigated by UEFA after he was caught on video grabbing his genitals as he celebrated his goal, sparking numerous stories from numerous outlets claiming he could be banned, though that was never going to happen and hasn’t.

Bellingham claimed on X that it was an ‘inside joke towards some close friends who were at the game’ but UEFA has written to the midfielder asking him to explain the action.

Despite his two goals in Germany, Bellingham has been nowhere near as influential as he’s been for Real Madrid for the majority of his debut season for the Spanish giants, which led him to be named La Liga Player of the Season.

‘Might even help the team’

And Dietmar Hamann, who is far from his biggest fan, claims his potential ban may actually be a good thing for Southgate and England.

“Gareth Southgate should have made the decision earlier to take out Bellingham or Phil Foden,” he told BILD.

“Now he may be forced to be lucky if Bellingham is suspended. If he has to sit out, that might even be a blessing. That might even help the team. Something has to happen.”

The former Liverpool defensive midfielder also took aim at Bellingham’s behaviour, making reference to him shouting ‘who else?’ to fans in the stadium after his wonderful goal and digging up his criticism of a referee in his time at Dortmund.

“I don’t like his behaviour,” Hamann said. “There was his statement two and a half years ago in Dortmund about referee Felix Zwayer, where he got away with a fine, but in my opinion, should have been banned.”

In December 2021, Bellingham had criticised Zwayer after Borussia Dortmund had suffered a 3-2 defeat by Bayern Munich. He said: “You give a referee who has postponed games before the biggest game in Germany. What do you expect?”

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‘Not seen in first four games’

Hamann added: “Without your colleagues you are nothing – and if he then stands up and says that, then I would be interested to hear what his teammates say. Apart from his goals, he was not seen in the first four games.

“I would wait and see where he is in 2 or 3 years. We don’t need to talk about the fact that he is a talented player, but some things have happened that you shouldn’t do.”

Hamann claimed earlier this week that Bellingham has inf act been “missing for months” in further proof of his apparent grudge against the England star.

“When you look at other players, Bellingham, for example. He is a huge talent, but the fact of the matter is that since the Champions League quarter-final, he hasn’t performed. He hasn’t been seen in the Champions League when it really matters,” Hamann said.

“Maybe it shouldn’t come as such a surprise that Bellingham isn’t performing that well at this tournament. Bellingham wasn’t the reason that Real Madrid won the Champions League. He played his part in the early rounds, but they won it because of Lunin, because of Vini Junior, and because of Toni Kroos.

“Sometimes the English tend to hype their players up, which is fair enough, but it doesn’t always match the reality.

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“Bellingham is starting to believe his own fairy tales, he needs to be careful: I think there is definitely a danger that Jude Bellingham is starting to believe his own fairy tales.

“There was his celebration and then when he walked past the Slovakia bench, he did something that offended them. He said afterwards that it was a private joke aimed at his friends who were sitting near them. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I think he’s got to be careful because in the first game, he ran into Kostić after he won the tackle, and he was lucky not to get booked for that.

“He’s got to leave them things out because there’s always someone bigger than you and the other players will watch his antics. I think he’s got to be very careful because the one thing you shouldn’t do is disrespect your opponents. Against Slovakia, he made his excuses, but it wouldn’t have been the first time that something has happened with him. Somebody has to tell him it’s needless and he should cut it out.”

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