Jamal Musiala recalls hanging out with Jude Bellingham at England youth camps and reveals how they deal with playing against each other

Jamal Musiala of Bayern Munich and Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund battle for the ball during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München at Signal Iduna Park on October 8, 2022 in Dortmund, Germany.
(Image credit: Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Jamal Musiala has told FourFourTwo exclusively that he's “close” to Jude Bellingham – despite his fellow wonderkid being a rival.

Musiala was in the England youth set-up with Bellingham before choosing to switch international allegiance to play for the country of his birth, Germany. The pair played together for the Three Lions – and have since gone on to become the Bundesliga's biggest stars.

While 19-year-old Bellingham was plucked from Birmingham City's first team by Borussia Dortmund in 2020, 20-year-old Musiala joined Bayern Munich from Chelsea's academy the year before. Both players have established themselves as wonderkids in the intervening years and both are considered two of the most exciting starlets in world football. 

With the pair of them lighting up the German top tier – and facing each other on the international stage, as rivals of England and Germany – you may think there could be a dislike of one another, similar to the way that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's rivalry was hyped by the media at one stage. But on the contrary, Musiala now tells FFT exclusively that there's nothing but affection for his fellow midfielder. 

“Jude and I got on really well immediately,” says Musiala. “We had loads of laughs together on the England trips. 

Jamal Musiala of Germany walks past Jude Bellingham of England during the UEFA Nations League match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium, London on Monday 26th September 2022.

Musiala and Bellingham faced one another in the Nations League last year (Image credit: Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“We loved playing table tennis, and watching TV shows and movies together. We were just two lads, dreaming of becoming footballers.”

Surely though, there must be an element of competitive conflict between the pair?

“Jude and I are close friends and always will be,” says Musiala. “But we’re rivals, too. We say a quick hello before the game – a nod in the tunnel – but then it’s down to business. He wants to win. I want to win. Everything else goes out of the window for 90 minutes.”

Want more on Bundesliga wonderkids? Check out FourFourTwo's latest YouTube video: How Jude Bellingham Plays 3 Positions At The Same Time

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo. 

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