Who is the best player in the world? For more than a decade, the answer to that question would have been either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Father Time waits for nobody though and unfortunately, that era has now ended in the eyes of many even though the Argentine is the current Ballon d'Or holder. Both legends are still active but not playing at the highest level. Who could take their place at the top of the mountain? A Real Madrid superstar seems to be stepping up.
Jude Bellingham has been one of the best players in the world this season, if not the very best. He has almost carried this Real Madrid team to results at times. That is remarkable for someone who is just 20 years of age and playing his first season for Los Blancos.
Bellingham has contributed both in terms of numbers and performances. According to stats from Transfermarkt, he has scored 16 goals and provided 4 assists in 18 appearances this season.
Many football fans, not just of Real Madrid, believe that Bellingham is the best player in the world right now. But it looks like Aitor Ruibal of Real Betis is not convinced.
Messi message sent to Real Madrid superstar
As reported by GOAL, Ruibal told reporters when asked if Bellingham is now the finest player on the planet:
"As long as Messi is active, I cannot say that anyone is better than him."
That does not mean that Ruibal does not rate Bellingham highly. On the contrary, he does recognise the Englishman as one of the best, as the Real Betis player added:
"It is true that he is one of the best right now and at his age, he is surely among the best ones here, if not already."
Of course, Messi is arguably the best player in history. And the current Ballon d'Or holder as well. That being said, it is important to recognise that he is now at Inter Miami.
When it comes to Bellingham, he needs to keep on performing at this level moving forward. If he is successful in doing that and Real Madrid win trophies on top of that, he will certainly be in the running for the Ballon d'Or come next year.