Jude Bellingham has loved his first few weeks as a Real Madrid player and is confident of helping the Spanish giants fulfil their lofty expectations.
The 20-year-old midfielder completed his big-money switch to the Bernabeu last month, leaving Borussia Dortmund for a fee that could rise to an eye-watering £115million.
Bellingham made his second appearance for Madrid under the NRG Stadium roof on Wednesday when he opened the scoring in the friendly against Manchester United with a lovely, clipped finish.
The England star was taken off at half-time in Houston but was deemed to have done enough to earn the man of the match award as Carlo Ancelotti’s side triumphed 2-0.
“I look like I am enjoying it, I like to think,” Bellingham said after the game. “So far, so good.
“I am enjoying playing with this team, learning from so many great players. I am definitely not getting carried away just yet.
“There are big challenges to come this season.
“There is a lot to aim for and rightly so. It is the biggest club with the best players. The expectations are high as they should be. It is about us going out there and matching that.”
Bellingham says he is slowly getting better at Spanish but admits he is finding the language tough – certainly harder than adapting to his new surroundings.
The England international loves Real’s standards and “the way everyone applies themselves in training, the mentality day in, day out” – an elite level he is confident of matching.
“I was confident coming here because I knew how good the players were,” Bellingham said after the friendly in Houston.“I know the qualities I can bring and I feel like I have slotted in.
“The role I am playing is enjoyable. I had a decent game against AC Milan and a decent one today. I just want to keep up the rhythm going into the season.”
Bellingham showed a glimpse of that quality when meeting Antonio Rudiger’s pass from the back with a delicate touch and clipped finish from the edge of the box – a goal that had a hint of offside about it.
“I have not seen it back yet,” the England midfielder said. “It did feel as though I went a little bit early.
“These days you have to play to the whistle because you never know. As I was running over, I saw the linesman and his flag stayed down so I just carried on with the celebration. If it is offside, sobeit but it is still a goal.”
Bellingham spoke as eloquently as ever after the match but was not so cool after being clattered by United defender Lisandro Martinez just before half-time.
“The little tiff with Martinez is one of those things,” he added. “He is a brilliant player.
“I came in at half-time and I was f’ing this and f’ing that. But when he came over to wish me all the best when he came off, I really respected it. I know what goes on the pitch stays on the pitch.
“I saw him at the end of the game and wished him well. I can respect that when two players are trying to win their team and can come together and be respectful after the game.
“He is a great competitor and a great player. Just like me, he wants to win.
“Sometimes it spills over. That is part of the game. I am really respectful. We can have that moment after the game.”