- Jude Bellingham was asked to name his childhood heroes growing up
- The Real Madrid star would have left the interviewer surprised by his choices
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport's podcast 'It's All Kicking Off!'
Jude Bellingham has named three surprising players as his childhood heroes growing up watching football.
So Bellingham's response to who his idols as a youngster were, would have surprised reporters when he was asked by French publication L'Equipe.
He said: 'I admired the players from Birmingham, the team that won the League Cup at Wembley (in 2011).
Jude Bellingham has revealed three surprising names as his heroes growing up on football
Bellingham was asked by L'Equpe if the likes of Wayne Rooney or Zinedine Zidane were his childhood heroes but he instead named three other players including Craig Gardner (right)
Bellingham picked Gardner and two other players from Birmingham City's League Cup winning side of 2011
'My heroes were Seb Larsson, Craig Gardner, Lee Bowyer. As I got more into it myself, Dad was the most important.'
Bellingham was born in Stourbridge and grew up supporting Birmingham City, who he later played for and even had his shirt retired by the club before joining Borussia Dortmund in 2020.
Gardner, Larsson and Bowyer all started for Birmingham in their famous 2-1 League Cup final victory over Arsenal, where Obafemi Martins scored a late winner following a mix-up with Gunners keeper Wojciech Szczesny and defender Laurent Koscielny.
The same season saw Birmingham City relegated from the Premier League, with both Larsson and Gardner joining Sunderland and Bowyer spending one season at Ipswich before he retired.
After stints at Sunderland and West Brom, Gardner returned to Birmingham City in 2017 in a loan which turned permanent, before retiring in 2020.
He has also been a coach and is currently the technical director at St Andrews'.
Larsson spent six years at Sunderland, followed by a season at Hull City, before retiring last year following five years at Swedish side AIK.
Bellingham meanwhile has enjoyed a stunning start to life at Real Madrid, scoring 13 goals in as many games since his arrival in the summer.
His excellent form at the Santiago Bernabeu, and Borussia Dortmund beforehand, led to him receiving the Kopa Trophy at the Ballon d'Or awards this week.
He also named Seb Larsson (left) and Lee Bowyer (right) who were also part of Birmingham's trophy winning team - that were also relegated to the Championship in the same season
Bellingham has enjoyed a fantastic start to the season at Real Madrid, netting 13 goals in as many games
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