Jude Bellingham [1296x729]
Jude Bellingham [1296x729] (Credit: Beatriz Velasco/Getty Images)

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Tom Brady hailed Jude Bellingham after the midfielder won his latest individual honour on Monday and revealed they spoke when he signed for Real Madrid.

Bellingham, 20, won Breakthrough of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Madrid, which comes after he won the 2023 Golden Boy and Ballon d'Or Kopa trophies earlier this season.

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"When he actually transferred from Dortmund to Real Madrid, we struck up a conversation. I was really impressed by his maturity and how talented he is, although of course everyone can see that," Brady told ESPN Deportes.

"He's got a great future because of what's in his brain and what he's really focused on."

Brady is a minority investor in Birmingham City, who are in a fight to stave off relegation from England's second-tier.

Brady was not the only athlete to praise Bellingham at the award ceremony. Tennis star Novak Djokovic, who his record-equalling fifth Laureus sportsman award, said Bellingham has all the features of a "great champion."

"What I was impressed with is that he was always trying to make these runs, and he was not getting the right balls, and he was getting a little bit frustrated, but then he was waiting for the right opportunity," Djokovic told a news conference.

"He was serious, professional, dedicated, patient and believed that the chance will come. It came in the right moment and he decided the game. He's only 20, so that's a feature or characteristic of a great champion."

After winning the award on Monday, Bellingham said he is targeting a treble of team honours this season as he seeks a trophy-laden climax to his debut season at Madrid.

Madrid are 11 points clear at the top of LaLiga and are into the Champions League semifinals, and he will be a crucial part in Gareth Southgate's plan to win the European Championship title with England.

The midfielder scored on Sunday as Madrid beat Barcelona 3-2 in the Clásico to edge ever nearer to the LaLiga title, and will face Bayern Munich in the Champions League after overcoming Manchester City in last week's quarterfinals.

"It's been an amazing 24 hours, a great week really for myself and the club," Bellingham said, speaking at the Laureus ceremony held at Madrid City Hall. "To be here with so many amazing athletes and so many inspirational people is a real pleasure.

"We've still got a few more games to wrap up LaLiga, we've got two very difficult games against Munich, and then to the Euros. Hopefully we can take [England's] form from the last few tournaments into that and push on and do one better."

Bellingham, then 17, was part of the England squad at Euro 2020, making three substitute appearances on the way to the final, where England were beaten on penalties by Italy at Wembley.

He has scored 21 goals for Real Madrid in his debut season, 17 of them coming in LaLiga. The latest was a 91st minute winner against Barca at the Bernabéu, to effectively end the title race with six games left to play.

"[Scoring in Clásico] is a really special feeling, you kind of lose all control of your body and the normal senses that go through your head," Bellingham said. "It's something I really enjoy doing."

Bellingham said he is aware of his responsibility as an inspiration to young people.

"It's important that I try to be a good role model," he said. "I'm not perfect, but I want to have a good and lasting impact."