19-year-old Jude Bellingham showed maturity beyond his years as he consoled his England skipper Harry Kane after the latter had missed a late penalty against France in the quarterfinal on Saturday.
The Spurs man had already scored from the sport when he drew England level against France earlier but in his second attempt, he blasted the shot over the bar. England would go on to lose the match 2-1 and be eliminated from the tournament.
Kane looked like a broken man after he missed and Bellingham would go up to him and offer him words of encouragement.
“In that moment, I just wanted to remind him that he can still win us this game. It wasn’t to be in the end, but for me there’s no feeling towards the captain that’s negative after all he’s done for this country,” Bellingham said after the match.
“As the leader of the team – which he is with the media, on the pitch and off the pitch – I felt it was important that I just kept him in the game mentally. For me, I can’t thank him enough for how much he’s integrated me into the team,” he added.
“I’ve seen him deliver time and time again since I’ve been in the England set-up and on this occasion, he didn’t score but I think that he’s done more than enough for this team and his country,” said the Borussia Dortmund midfielder before signing off.
That penalty chance came in the 84th minute and with England trailing 2-1 against France. It was the chance to get back on even terms, exactly 30 minutes after Kane had scored from that same penalty spot to make it 1-1.
The match ended 2-1, with France back in the semifinals and England gone — the team’s earliest elimination from a major soccer tournament since the 2016 European Championship.