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Pep Guardiola facing huge Jude Bellingham dilemma as Man City boss devises plan to ‘control’ Real Madrid star

PEP GUARDIOLA admits he faces a massive headache over how to stop Jude Bellingham.

Manchester City and Real Madrid square up for the third year running, this time in the Champions League last eight.

Pep Guardiola admits he faces a massive headache over how to stop Jude Bellingham

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Pep Guardiola admits he faces a massive headache over how to stop Jude BellinghamCredit: Rex
Bellingham's Real Madrid face Man City in the Champions League quarter-finals

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Bellingham’s Real Madrid face Man City in the Champions League quarter-finalsCredit: Getty

But this time City must deal with Bellingham. Asked about the Three Lions star, Guardiola said: “The impact has been massive.

“It’s a different team from last season. His influence is obvious, we have to try to discover what he does and control it.”

The Euro heavyweights met in the semi-finals in the previous two years.

Madrid went on to win the competition in 2022 with City finally lifting the trophy for the first time last season.

Bellingham brings a new dimension though — the England ace has netted 20 goals in 31 games for Madrid since joining them from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

The first leg will take place at the Santiago Bernabeu on April 9, the same night that Arsenal host Bayern Munich.

The second legs are on April 17. And there is no respite for the winners — they will play each other in the semi-finals!

While Guardiola’s men are defending champions, the City boss knows they are still rookies compared to their Spanish rivals.

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Real have won the Champions League in five of the last ten seasons.

Guardiola added: “It looks like a little bit of a tradition, three years in a row playing the kings of the competition.

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“With them winning 14 Champions Leagues, it’s not necessary to say what Real Madrid are in this competition.

“For us, it’s a little bit new. For Real Madrid, it’s not special to play quarter-finals of the Champions League.

“The last years we have been consistent — many times semi-finals, final, now quarter-final again — and we start to be in this routine to play in the latter stages.

“And when you play latter stages you play against the best teams in Europe, Real Madrid are totally there.

“This one is special and makes you feel like you go to Europe and play your best football. It’s so nice.”

In the other half of the draw, Jadon Sancho’s Borussia Dortmund landed Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals while Paris Saint-Germain will face Barcelona.

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