England should be proud as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Dortmund prepare for Champions League crunch time

England should be proud as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Dortmund prepare for Champions League crunch time

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up ahead of Champions League semi-final clashes this week

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 05/05/2024

- 08:00

All three sides, as well as Paris Saint-Germain, will battle to make the final of the competition this week

While there are no Premier League clubs in the semi-finals of this year's Champions League, this week's second leg fixtures will still have a very English feel to things.

And that's because, for the first time in recent memory, there are three talismanic English players driving the silverware ambitions of three foreign giants.

Real Madrid have Jude Bellingham, Bayern Munich possess Harry Kane and Borussia Dortmund boast a rejuvenated Jadon Sancho.

As things stand, there will be at least two English players on show when the Champions League final takes place on June 1.

Jadon Sancho Harry Kane Jude Bellingham

Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham are all dreaming of Champions League glory


With Borussia Dortmund leading PSG 1-0 ahead of their second leg clash at the Parc des Princes, Sancho seems set to face off against Kane or Bellingham at Wembley next month.

It is a unique situation. But it is a significant one, proof that English talent is flourishing - regardless of the environment.

Of course, players going abroad is nothing new.

Steve McManaman had his uses at Real Madrid and the same can be said for Owen Hargreaves, with both players winning the Champions League with foreign clubs.

Yet Kane, Bellingham and Sancho are all talismanic figures those players, with all due respect, were not.

McManaman played in a team of Galacticos at Real Madrid. He was always overshadowed by Raul, Roberto Carlos and other A-listers during his time at the Bernabeu.

The same can be said with Hargreaves, who was never the main man at a Bayern Munich team that was packed with quality all throughout.

These days, however, things are different.

When Real Madrid signed Bellingham back in the summer transfer window, fending off competition from both Liverpool and Manchester City, eyebrows were raised.

With Luke Modric, Toni Kroos, Eduardo Camavinga, Dani Ceballos and Aurelien Tchouaméni in their star-studded squad, did they really need another midfielder?

But Bellingham has been nothing short of sensational during his time in Spain so far.

It isn't just the fact that he's scored 21 goals and registered eight assists across all competitions.

Bellingham has stepped up in the biggest moments, with late winners in two El Clasico clashes with Barcelona particularly memorable.

He has become the heartbeat of this Real Madrid side under Carlo Ancelotti, usurping Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo to become their main man.

Given the sheer size and stature of Real, that's quite the achievement.


Harry Kane Jude Bellingham

Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham will meet again when Real Madrid face off with Bayern Munich


With Kane and Bayern, it's a different story.

The Bundesliga giants signed the England international for a club record fee of around £100million because they knew he was the real deal, right away.

Bayern have endured a turbulent season under Thomas Tuchel, who is leaving the Allianz Arena - potentially for Manchester United - at the end of the season.

But their shortcomings can't be blamed on Kane, with the striker netting a remarkable 43 goals across all competitions - while also clocking up 11 assists.

If they are to win this competition, make no mistake about it. Kane will have a huge say.

Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho is a player on the rise again at Borussia Dortmund with the German giants looking to win the Champions League this season


The third player on the list is Sancho.

Banished by Manchester United in September, the England international is now finding his best form again for Borussia Dortmund.

Sancho was unplayable in midweek as Dortmund beat PSG 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League tie, resembling the player of old.

And he's emerged from the shadows to become a vital asset for the German giants as they seek a first Champions League triumph since 1997.

Yes, there are no English sides dreaming of the prestigious prize. Some players are, however, and that should give the country reason to cheer.

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