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Rio Ferdinand has claimed Jude Bellingham has the ability and mentality required to win the Ballon d’Or in the future, adding that the Real Madrid star is already ahead of fellow England midfield legends at the same age.

Bellingham has enjoyed a stunning start to the season after completing a £113m move from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid in June.

The 20-year-old has scored five goals in his opening four matches for the Spanish giants to stand at the top of La Liga’s goalscoring charts.

Bellingham also enjoyed a starring role for England during the international break, with the midfielder scoring and providing an assist in the Three Lions’ 3-1 win over Scotland.

Ferdinand, speaking on BBC Radio 5Live, suggested Bellingham’s impact at the top level at a young age was comparable to Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney.

Jude Bellingham has starred for both England and Real Madrid at the start of the season

Rio Ferdinand believes the 20-year-old midfielder has the ability to win multiple Ballon d’Ors

Ferdinand praised Bellingham’s mentality having starred after a £113m move to Real Madrid

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The former Man United defender suggested both Owen and Rooney would have an argument to say Bellingham was not the best English talent at the same age.

Ferdinand, however, suggested Bellingham was ahead of his former Man United team-mate Paul Scholes as a 20-year-old, as well as fellow Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. 

‘He is going to be pitted against people like Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes, and I would say right now, comfortably, that none of those players were doing anything like what he’s doing at this age and Maglia Arsenal that’s the yardstick,’ Ferdinand said.

‘So he can go on and win Ballon d’Ors. I’ll be very surprised if this kid doesn’t finish his career with at least one, maybe two or three Ballon d’Ors, because I think he’s that good.

‘There’s been players who stand out ability wise maybe the same or a bit more than him and you could argue the case either way.

‘But I don’t think there’s been, which I think is the most important part of it, that one that has come out with the mentality that this kid has to do what’s he’s doing.

‘To go to Real Madrid and be the best players in his first four or five games is phenomenal, unheard of.’

Ferdinand’s comparison to three of England’s midfield greats appears accurate, with Scholes making his Man United debut at the age of 19, before emerging as a regular starter the following year.

Ferdinand said Bellingham was ahead of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard at the same age

An English player has not won the Ballon d’Or since Michael Owen earned the award in 2001

The Man United legend made his Three Lions debut as a 22-year-old.

Lampard was into his second season as an established starter for West Ham at 20, but was still awaiting his England debut. 

At the same age as Bellingham, Gerrard had become a fixture in the Liverpool team and made his England bow.

An English player has not won the Ballon d’Or since Owen received the honour in 2001, when the forward was 22.

Lampard and Gerrard finished second and third respectively in 2005 when Ronaldinho was voted as the best player in the world.

Ferdinand’s comments are the latest praise received by Bellingham, with former England captain Bryan Robson writing in Mail Sport that we are witnessing someone ‘very special’.

Graeme Souness has stated that Bellingham possesses the ‘physical attributes and technical ability of Zinedine Zidane’, suggesting he has the ability to become one of the game’s greats.

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