Bellingham Voted LaLiga Player of the Season 

27 May 2024, Spain, Valdebebas: Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham speaks with the press during Real Madrid Open Media Day at Ciudad Real Madrid, ahead of their UEFA Champions League final soccer match against Borussia Dortmund. (dpa)
27 May 2024, Spain, Valdebebas: Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham speaks with the press during Real Madrid Open Media Day at Ciudad Real Madrid, ahead of their UEFA Champions League final soccer match against Borussia Dortmund. (dpa)
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Bellingham Voted LaLiga Player of the Season 

27 May 2024, Spain, Valdebebas: Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham speaks with the press during Real Madrid Open Media Day at Ciudad Real Madrid, ahead of their UEFA Champions League final soccer match against Borussia Dortmund. (dpa)
27 May 2024, Spain, Valdebebas: Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham speaks with the press during Real Madrid Open Media Day at Ciudad Real Madrid, ahead of their UEFA Champions League final soccer match against Borussia Dortmund. (dpa)

Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham has been voted LaLiga's Player of the Season after the 20-year-old played a pivotal role in leading the club to their 36th league title.

Bellingham edged out teammate Vinicius Jr, Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Artem Dovbyk (Girona) and Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona) in votes cast by fans, club captains and a panel of experts.

He scored 19 goals and had six assists in 28 league games this season, and tallied 23 goals and 12 assists in all competitions for the club.

Bellingham, who could not attend Tuesday's ceremony in Sardinia as he was preparing for the Champions League final at Wembley against his former club Borussia Dortmund, said he was honored to have received the award.

"I would like to dedicate it to my teammates, the coaching staff and, most importantly, to the fans of the best club in the world," he said in a message. "It's a pleasure every time I play for this team. Hala Madrid!"

The Englishman also won the 2022-23 Bundesliga Player of the Season playing for Dortmund before moving to Real for a fee of around 103 million Euros ($111.71 million).

Earlier on Tuesday, Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl was full of praise for Bellingham.

"I know how strong Jude is and I know his personality very much, so he's an amazing player, an amazing character and of course, he will do everything to win that final," he said.



Germany Looking to Book Spot in Euro 2024 Knockout Stage with Another Win against Hungary

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
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Germany Looking to Book Spot in Euro 2024 Knockout Stage with Another Win against Hungary

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)

Germany faces Hungary on Wednesday in Stuttgart in their second Group A match. Germany tops the group after beating Scotland 5-1 in the opener while Hungary lost 3-1 against Switzerland. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT). Here’s what to know about the match:

Match facts:

— Victory for Germany would all but guarantee a spot in the knockout stages and it would definitely advance if Switzerland also beats Scotland in the other group match.

— Another defeat would not end Hungary’s chances as it could still claim one of the four best third-place spots up for grabs.

— Germany is winless in its last three meetings against Hungary and was beaten 1-0 in the last game between the two teams, in September 2022.

— Germany had to twice come from behind when the teams met in the group stage at the last European Championship. That was the teams’ first competitive meeting since the 1954 World Cup final, won 3-2 by West Germany.

Team news:

— Hungary coach Marco Rossi is hopeful French-born midfielder Loic Nego will have recovered to face Germany after he was only fit for a place on the bench against Switzerland.

— Germany has reported no injury concerns.

By the numbers:

— Germany’s five goals scored against Scotland leaves it just one short of its best-ever group stage tally at the European Championship, when it scored six at Euro 2020.

— Hungary midfielder Ádám Nagy, who turned 29 on Sunday, could make his eighth tournament appearance if he plays against Germany. That would be a new record for Hungary, breaking the joint mark Nagy holds with former captain Ádám Szalai.

— Germany’s victory over Scotland saw the team win its European Championship opener for a record-extending eighth time.

What they’re saying:

“Hungary is an unpleasant opponent, they can sometimes be wild and they’re difficult to get a hold of. There are a lot of free spirits out there” — Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann.

“We beat them (Germany) in 2022, so I’m sure it will be an extra motivation for them. They’ll be thinking: ‘Not again.’ But it’s clear from the first game that this Germany side is a completely proposition to what they were back then or even last year.” — Hungary forward Martin Ádám.

“On the pitch you felt how every single one of our players was annoyed that we conceded. That is a good sign. Scoring goals is nice, but we are thinking defensively and want to have stability at the back.” — Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.