Steve McManaman exclusive: ‘If you don’t win, the pressure’s on you straight away at Real Madrid and the press can be brutal. To do what Jude Bellingham has done is amazing’

Real Madrid's jude Bellingham celebrates after scoring against Osasuna in LaLiga in October 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dealing with the pressure of playing for Real Madrid isn't an easy task for any footballer – let alone one at the beginning of their career.

The Bernabeu can be an infamously difficult place to play, as proven by a number of players over the years – English duo Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate found it tough to make their mark, while even Gareth Bale had issues winning over fans at times, despite winning the Champions League on five occasions.

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Chris Flanagan
Senior Staff Writer

Chris joined FourFourTwo in 2015 and has reported from 20 countries, in places as varied as Jerusalem and the Arctic Circle. He's interviewed Pele, Zlatan and Santa Claus (it's a long story), as well as covering the World Cup, Euro 2020 and the Clasico. He previously spent 10 years as a newspaper journalist, and completed the 92 in 2017.

With contributions from