Jude Bellingham has been forced into making some lifestyle changes after moving to Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund, but getting a new Irish passport is arguably the most radical one he’s done. Indeed, the England international is now set to achieve Ireland’s citizenship.
The 20-year-old arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu last month for a £88 million fee, making him the most profitable sale Dortmund have ever made on a player. Bellingham is now focused on properly adapting himself to the style of Carlo Ancelotti’s side and is working overtime to get adapted to life in Spain, which includes learning the language itself.
However, as the Englishman prepares for his debut season at his new club, he was asked by the club to do something that can greatly benefit them. Bellingham was urged to apply for an Irish passport, which could, in turn, benefit Los Blancos.
Why did Jude Bellingham apply for Irish citizenship?
The 20-year-old has Irish roots thanks to his paternal grandfather being from the country. He was even pictured wearing the Irish national team jersey as a child, which is most like due to his father’s allegiance to them over the England national team.
Bellingham has already filled up the necessary documentation that need to be submitted for a person to get the Irish citizenship passport and Real Madrid are expecting to receive it in a short while. The reason behind them pushing the midfielder to apply for the citizenship of Ireland is because it will help them show him as an EU player.
In La Liga, there are rules that a club can only register five non-EU players in their squad. However, only three non-EU players are allowed to play for each team. Since Brexit, England has distanced itself from the EU, which means Bellingham has taken up the Non-EU spot in the Real Madrid squad.
Los Blancos already have a number of non-EU players like Vinicius Jr, Eder Militao and Rodrygo. Fede Valverde, despite being born and brought up in Uruguay, was able to claim Spanish citizenship last year after playing for Madrid in the country for many years.
As Ireland is still a part of EU, Bellingham can show himself to have dual citizenship once he obtains the Ireland passport. By doing so, he can be registered and played in every game possible alongside the non-EU players, as well as allow Los Blancos to have space for more potential non-EU players that they could sign soon.
Ireland fans rage at Bellingham getting passport easily
Of course, this isn’t an indication that Bellingham will be playing for the Irish national team at all. He’s only doing it to exploit a loophole in the La Liga rules and ensure there are no problems with his registration process. Many Irish football fans, however, are unhappy with how easily he’s been able to do all this.
The Irish fans on Twitter have been complaining about how easy it can be to get a citizenship passport for their country, even though Bellingham wasn’t even born or brought up there.
Some are complaining about the sheer speed at which the Englishman was able to secure his passport when there is a considerable waiting time for the actual Irish citizens in Ireland to get their own passports when they apply for it.
Irrespective of the anger towards this, Bellingham is now set to become a dual citizen going forward and this gesture from the 20-year-old will be greatly appreciated by Real Madrid and raise his respect levels within the hierarchy of the club.