Jude Bellingham's debut year with Real Madrid kicked off in sensational style with a flurry of goals, and the climax could be even more remarkable. With the Spanish title secured, Madrid are eyeing a La Liga and Champions League double, facing Bellingham's former team Borussia Dortmund in the Wembley final on Saturday.

'It's such a monumental game, my first Champions League final, back home in England against my former team -- it's surreal, I couldn't have imagined it any better,' Bellingham expressed to reporters this week.

The 20-year-old midfielder was crowned La Liga's player of the season on Wednesday. Bellingham netted 19 league goals and four in Europe en route to the final.

Upon his arrival at Real Madrid last summer, he professed his admiration for former midfield maestro Zinedine Zidane and even adopted the Frenchman's number five shirt as a tribute. However, Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti had different plans for Bellingham, positioning the elegant central midfielder in the void left by striker Karim Benzema's departure.

This move immediately paid off, with Bellingham tallying 13 goals in his initial 13 games, earning favor with Madrid's fans who promptly serenaded him with the Beatles' song 'Hey Jude'. Bellingham notched two goals, including a 91st-minute winner, in his first Clasico to secure a triumph over then-champions Barcelona on Catalan turf.

Did he anticipate this level of influence? 'I came here with the intention to win,' confessed Bellingham. 'I came here because I aspired to win, and to expect it, it's a tad presumptuous, but you have to exude confidence when playing among so many exceptional players.'

With another late winner in the second league Clasico and three goals in two matches against surprise title contenders Girona, Bellingham delivered in crucial moments. His goal-scoring rate diminished as Ancelotti tasked him with greater defensive responsibilities, influenced by a loss against Atletico Madrid -- their sole defeat in La Liga. In the Champions League, Madrid remained undefeated.

'What you've witnessed from me this year is a myriad of diverse roles and positions,' remarked Bellingham.

There were apprehensions regarding his fitness towards the end of the season following an ankle injury, but he asserts that he feels 'very close' to reaching 100% after taking a break once Madrid clinched the title.

Bellingham joined Dortmund from Birmingham City at the age of 17. He became the youngest player in the English side's history, and they retired his number 22 shirt in his honor. Initially overshadowed by teammates Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland, Bellingham still succeeded in establishing himself as a regular starter in his debut season in Germany.

Dortmund coach Edin Terzic lauded Bellingham's maturity, expressing disbelief that he was only 17. Before his final season at Dortmund, Bellingham was included in the captaincy group alongside skipper Marco Reus and Mats Hummels. At just 19 years old, he led them out against Cologne in October 2022, becoming the youngest captain in Bundesliga history.

'You get the impression that he has three kids at home -- he's destined for great things,' marveled Dortmund center-back Niklas Suele, a Champions League winner with Bayern Munich.

Bellingham demonstrated his world-class talent at the 2022 World Cup, propelling England to the quarterfinals. In the 2022-23 title race, Bellingham and Dortmund took it down to the wire but were pipped by Bayern on the final day, with the midfielder being named Bundesliga player of the season. A fortnight later, Bellingham joined Madrid for 103 million euros ($112 million).

'He plays with a level of maturity that belies his youth,' remarked Dortmund's Karim Adeyemithis week. 'I'm thrilled for Jude, he had an outstanding season,' added Emre Can. 'But on the field, our focus is solely on winning for our club.'

With a record 14-time champions Madrid heavily favored, what lies ahead for Bellingham? 'Hopefully the European Championship,' he said. 'I just mentioned being presumptuous... I'm concentrating on the final.'