Jude Bellingham can emulate Paul Gascoigne’s Italia 90 heroics and fire England to World Cup glory, according to former Three Lions star Paul Parker.
Ex-Birmingham midfielder Bellingham, 19, has rapidly developed into a key presence in Gareth Southgate’s midfield after his high-profile move to Borussia Dortmund two years ago.
The Stourbridge star has already racked up 19 caps for his country since his debut against the Republic of Ireland at the end of 2020, with his performances a rare positive in the Three Lions’ recently misfiring Nations League campaign.
Parker starred alongside Gascoigne as England reached the World Cup semi-finals in 1990 and believes Bellingham has what it takes to follow in his mercurial footsteps in Qatar.
International reputation in tatters, hooliganism in the streets and intense political pressure on England. This is a football story unlike any other.
Watch the first of three episodes, Italia ‘90: When Football Changed Forever, from Monday, 9pm on @Channel4 pic.twitter.com/zzQUqxkSow
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The 58-year-old said: “Bellingham is one of the two players that can [replicate Gascoigne].
“You look at Bellingham and the education that he is having for such a young lad, with the discipline and his decision-making.
“Everything about him is brilliant, the way he looks after himself as well.
“Him and Phil Foden are maybe the two who could make such a difference and make a real name for themselves and stand out, because they have qualities that most people wouldn’t typically see from an Englishman.
“But you need other people to really be successful as well for those two to really go on and achieve something.
“Even with Jude at Dortmund, you look at the technical ability of that team and they are a lot better than the majority of the Premier League sides.
“What he is learning out there is maybe a lot better than what he would have learnt here, and there is a wise head on those shoulders for such a young man with Jude.”
Parker was speaking ahead of Channel 4 documentary ‘Italia 90: When Football Changed Forever’, which aired its first episode on Monday night and sees Parker feature alongside fellow England stars Stuart Pearce, Paul Gascoigne, John Barnes, Peter Shilton and Steve Bull.
England’s run to the semi-finals – where they suffered penalty heartbreak against Germany – still holds a storied status in Three Lions folklore.
And Parker, who played an unfortunate role in the Germans’ opener before providing the assist for Gary Lineker’s leveller, is thrilled to help shine a light on the tournament over three decades on.
He added: “I’m involved in something that goes on and on and on.
“To see people still talking so passionately about Italia 90 32 years on is just something I never anticipated.
“I thought it would have been done when we got home, and the new season started, usually people move on.
“But you know, it just hasn’t, it hasn’t been allowed to die.”
Italia 90: When Football Changed Forever. Broadcasting on Channel 4 at 9 pm on Monday 31st October, includes interviews with Paul Parker, Stuart Pearce, Paul Gascoigne, John Barnes, Peter Shilton and Steve Bull #Italia90 https://www.channel4.com/