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Jude Bellingham scored a wonder goal at Euro 2024 and then turned to a speech by Theodore Roosevelt

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — As one of the most exciting soccer players in the world, Jude Bellingham’s wonder goal against Slovakia on Sunday was what many have come to expect from the England star.

His decision to mark the moment by referring to a speech by former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, however, seemed a less likely move from someone who only celebrated his 21st birthday on Saturday.

Bellingham’s overhead kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time rescued England after it had trailed Slovakia 1-0 in the round of 16 at the European Championship. It sent the game into extra time and Harry Kane sealed a 2-1 win, meaning England will play Switzerland in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Bellingham later posted part of a speech by Roosevelt on his Instagram channel, likely in response to the fierce criticism the England team has received at Euro 2024.

The excerpt of the speech, commonly known as “The Man in the Arena” begins with the statement “It is not the critic who counts” and goes on to say “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”

It has often been cited as an inspiration by top U.S. athletes, including Tom Brady and LeBron James — who has said he writes “Man in the Arena” on his shoes before every game — but is less well known in Britain.

England’s players have been booed by fans during the Euros because of the team’s unconvincing performances in Germany. Former national team captain and now BBC presenter Gary Lineker used an expletive on his podcast when delivering stinging criticism of one of the performances.

Playing for “England is an enjoyable feeling, but it’s also a lot of pressure here,” Bellingham said. “People talk a lot of rubbish and you know it’s nice, when you deliver, you can give them a little bit back.

“Football and being on the pitch, scoring a goal and celebrating is a release and it was maybe a message to a few people.”

The full speech by Roosevelt, which was entitled “Citizenship in a Republic,” was given at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1910.

“So people talk a lot and I think you do have to take it personally a little bit,” Bellingham said. “We we come in and we train every day so hard to try and put on performances for the fans, and sometimes it doesn’t go well, and sometimes it feels like there’s a there’s a bit of a pile on and it’s not nice to hear, but you can always use it.”


James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson


AP Euro 2024: https://ift.tt/lkZTEzM

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