Jude Bellingham set to face ‘best friend’ in England vs USA clash

Bellingham could go head-to-head with his closest friend at Borussia Dortmund

Jude Bellingham wasted no time in showing his ability on football’s biggest stage during England’s win against Iran on Monday (21 November).

At just 19-years of age, Bellingham started in the centre of England’s midfield alongside Declan Rice and scored in his country’s first game at the 2022 World Cup. His performance in England’s 6-2 win highlighted just how much potential he has at such a young age after he became the first player born after 2000 to score on football’s biggest stage.

Bellingham’s form for club and country has made him one of the most in-demand young footballers in world football.

He is expected to start England’s second group game against USA this evening (24 November), and he will come up against one his best friends and Dortmund teammates.

Gio Reyna

Gio Reyna

Bellingham is expected to start again on Friday, and he could face his Dortmund teammate Giovanni Reyna. Reya was on USA’s bench for their opening fixture against Wales, and the attacking midfielder could feature against Gareth Southgate’s team on Friday.

20-year-old Reyna was born in Sunderland to American parents when his father, Claudio Reyna, was playing for Sunderland.

His family moved back to the United States, settling in Bedford, New York, in 2007 when Giovanni was five. After playing for New York City, Reyna eventually moved to Dortmund where the 20-year-old developed through the academy before becoming a first team regular.

Reyna and Bellingham have a close relationship at Dortmund, and Reyna has described the Stourbridge-born England star as his ‘best friend’.

In an interview with The Guardian, discussing Bellingham, Reyna said: “I watched every game last year and it was an evolution, he would learn little things game by game and start to develop and get better.

“It is awesome to see. We have both had our struggles at times but to see him and the role he has taken in our team, it is great.”