Bellingham hails advice as England beat pen woe

Jude Bellingham has revealed how advice from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink guided him through England’s penalty shootout win against Switzerland and banished “awful memories” of the nation’s past failures.

The Three Lions have exited seven tournaments on penalties — including losing the last Euros final to Italy — as well as defeats in 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006 and 2012.

However, England have won three of their four shootouts under Gareth Southgate, the latest of which came in Saturday’s Euro 2024 quarterfinal against Switzerland in Düsseldorf following a 1-1 draw.

All five of England’s takers — Cole Palmer, Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney and Trent Alexander-Arnold — scored to secure a 5-3 victory, and afterwards Bellingham explained the role England coach and former Chelsea striker Hasselbaink had in helping him execute his spot-kick.

“It’s a first for me to be involved in one, to take one,” Bellingham, 21, told BBC Radio 5Live.

“I have awful memories kind of growing up and I think the first Euro that I was really interested in was the one against Italy [Euro 2012] with the dink from [Andrea] Pirlo.

“It kind of stains your memory a little bit, you always think: ‘England in penalty shoot-outs, I’m not sure,’ but it’s really nice to have that experience to add to the locker now.

“I was really confident in my preparation, confident in the things I talked through with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, he’s stepped up for us massively.

“It’s the work that he does behind closed doors, with the lads being willing to take on that information, that put us in those situations in order to be able to win.

“So this is a massive team effort. Another thing is [goalkeepers] Dean Henderson, Aaron Ramsdale, Tom Heaton, who have been with us this camp, they’ve been huge in helping us practise the penalties.

“Again, they won’t get the credit they deserve but essentially, if they don’t put in the right effort, you don’t have the right practice to go out and execute. So many people are involved in this win. It’s a massive team win.”

Bellingham started the tournament with a superb display against Serbia — scoring England’s winning goal that night — but he admitted he has struggle to match that level since.

The Real Madrid midfielder scored a stunning 95th-minute overhead kick to save England from going out in the round-of-16, instead forcing extra time against Slovakia. He was fined €30,000 and handed a one-game suspended ban for a lewd gesture made in celebrating that goal and when asked to reflect on his own tournament to date, Bellingham said: “Eventful, yeah, a lot going on!

“I think in the first game I started really well. I felt great. That was one of my best games for England but I’m always honest with myself and I feel like the two games that followed [were] not at the level I can be, simple as that.

“For me, it’s about acknowledging that, reviewing it, getting myself back to the right fitness levels to try again. I’ll never stop running and stop trying to play forward, stop trying to create, score goals.

“If sometimes it doesn’t come off then so be it but I’ll never stop trying for my team and my teammates.

“It looks like we’re hitting the right speed at the right time so we’ll see how it goes, we’re still here, we live to fight another day.”

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