Multiple sources claim that Jude Bellingham will soon acquire an Irish passport and would become a EU citizen.
This summer, Bellingham transferred to Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund for $113 million. On Wednesday, he scored his first goal for Los Blancos in a pre-season 2-0 win against Manchester United, in front of a 67,801 crowd in Houston, Texas.
In La Liga, teams may have no more than five non-European Union (EU) players on their roster at any one time. What is worse is that no more than three of those players are permitted to participate in any given game.
Bellingham, being British, would have qualified for one of the coveted spots on the non-EU team. The English national is waiting for word from the Irish embassy, allowing him to play for Los Blancos without having to register as a non-EU player.
Real Madrid are no strangers to non-EU rule issues
A “non-EU” player is one whose nation of citizenship is not a member of the European Union; after Brexit, the United Kingdom will fall into this category.
Last summer, Real Madrid ran into some difficulties since three of their players — Vinicius, Militao, and Rodrygo — weren’t EU citizens. Because of this, the Spanish giants were unable to sign any players who did not have European citizenship.
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How is Bellingham connected to ireland?
Fans may be surprised to learn that Bellingham has deep roots in the Emerald Isle. His father, Mark was raised by Irish-born parents. Since the midfielder’s paternal grandparents are Irish, he was eligible to represent the country in international competition. What is more is that he was famously seen as a toddler donning an Irish jersey.
Real Madrid have already obtained the required paperwork for him to become an EU player today, as reported by The Athletic and Marca. His potential registration as an Irish and EU citizen for the next season would be a shrewd use of the “granny rule,” which has allowed several foreign players to play for the Republic of Ireland.
Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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