Last updated on 28 October 202328 October 2023.From the section European Football
Do England have the two best players in the world right now?
England midfielder Bellingham, 20, seems to be on the scoresheet every week for the La Liga giants.
Meanwhile, his international captain Kane has grabbed a second hat-trick in his ninth Bundesliga match.
With both players lighting up their leagues, is there anyone else in world football who has had a better start to the season than Kane and Bellingham?
Bellingham has had a fairytale first four months at Real Madrid.
The former Birmingham City midfielder arrived from Borussia Dortmund for 103m euros (£88.5m) this summer and is already exceeding expectations.
He has scored 13 goals and created three assists across his opening 13 appearances for Real Madrid, only failing to find the net for his club in three matches this term.
Having scored on both his La Liga debut and Champions League debut for Real, he netted a superb 30-yard equaliser in his first match against Real’s rivals Barcelona on Saturday.
Just over 20 minutes later he volleyed in an injury-time winner to secure all three points for his side – with high praise for his ability from both boss Carlo Ancelotti and team-mate Luka Modric.
“He seems like a veteran, the goal to level it totally changed the game,” said Real manager Ancelotti.
“Today he was stupendous and shocked everyone with his wonderful goal from the edge of the area.”
Bellingham’s 10 goals are double the tally five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo managed across his first 10 league matches for Madrid back in 2009.
Ronaldo was a forward. Bellingham is a midfielder.
“I had watched many Clasicos from the sofa with my family and I told them that today it was my turn to live it first-hand and do something great,” Bellingham said to Madrid’s website. “I’ve done that and I’m very happy.”
“I wasn’t at my best. Sometimes it’s not about trying to do something special every time you have the ball, but to combine with those up top. I fulfilled that task well but as soon as I got the ball there I knew I was going to score.
“Maybe the opponents expect me to try to get into the box or combine with a team-mate and I wanted to surprise them by hitting it from outside the box. I know I have the technique and it went into the top corner.”
The Englishman is often compared to former Real number five Zinedine Zidane, but the most goals the French maestro ever scored in one season across his 18-year career was 10.
Bellingham reached that tally on 7 October.
“He can get to 20 or 25 goals, because he has started very well,” added Ancelotti.
Five-time European Cup winner Modric told Dazn: “He exudes personality, character, it’s no coincidence that he has adapted so well.
“He’s a top boy, with an extraordinary talent. I don’t think even he can believe he’s scoring so many goals.”
Kane is the first player in Bundesliga history to score 12 goals across his first nine games.
On Saturday he broke the deadlock for Bayern Munich against Darmstadt 98 in the 51st minute.
Then he lobbed goalkeeper Marcel Schuhen from inside his own half for his second, and completed his hat-trick two minutes from time.
“The ball will have a nice place in my hotel room, I still need to find a home,” admitted Kane after his side’s 8-0 win.
On his long-distance strike, Kane added: “This is the first time I’ve scored one like that. I’m always looking where the ‘keeper is. I looked up and I could see the ‘keeper was off his line.
“I’ve tried it a few times in my career, and it was nice to see this one dip under the crossbar.”
The 30-year-old has 14 goals and seven assists for Bayern this season across all competitions. He has also managed three goals in two appearances for England this term.
Kane moved to Munich for 100m euros (£86.4m) plus add-ons this summer, ending a record-breaking career at Tottenham.
He left the Premier League having won the Golden Boot three times – in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2020-21 – and with 213 goals from 320 games, just 48 shy of breaking Alan Shearer’s Premier League scoring record.
While Tottenham are currently top of the Premier League, Kane’s move will be continued to be queried by some supporters.
But the forward seems to have reached another level since his transfer, having also netted a hat-trick against Bochum in September.
He has had his best start to a season for six years, matching his record in 2017-18 when he also began the campaign with 17 goals in 16 games for club and country.
And he is part of a Bayern team leading the Bundesliga and unbeaten in all competitions since losing to Leipzig in their Super Cup opener.
Who could challenge Bellingham and Kane for the title of world’s best player right now?
Well, the winner of the 2023 Ballon d’Or will be revealed on Monday – and Lionel Messi is widely tipped to win for the eighth time.
Messi’s World Cup triumph with Argentina should boost his chances of securing the award for his performances across 2022-23, but he has only played six MLS matches since joining Inter Miami from Paris St-Germain in July.
Manchester City’s Erling Haaland is also in the running after his Treble-winning season last term. He scored 56 times last season, assisting a further nine goals – and has 11 goals already this campaign.
France and PSG’s Kylian Mbappe (who also has 11 goals so far in 2023-24) and City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne, who is currently out injured, are also among the leading contenders.
Bellingham and Kane are both included in the 30-player shortlist.
The England pair have had stunning starts to 2023-24, helping propel their sides to the top of their respective league tables.
We must wait to see if they will lead their clubs, and England at Euro 2024, to glory at the end of the season.
– Follow Monday’s Ballon D’or ceremony live on the BBC Sport website & app from 19:45 GMT