Pep Guardiola fires warning at Phil Foden over Man City attitude

Pep Guardiola has challenged Phil Foden to handle the hype and prove he can become one of the greats of the game.

Manchester City ace Foden has emerged as the biggest talent in English football following a stand-out season with the Premier League leaders.

The attacking midfielder has scored 10 goals in 29 appearances, including his stunning solo effort in City's 4-1 demolition of reigning champions Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

The expectation and attention on Foden's young shoulders is growing by the week as he looks to lead City to even more trophies.

Foden, 20, is also expected to spearhead England's assault on Europe this summer when Gareth Southgate's men look to win the Euros.

Guardiola, whose side travel to Championship side Swansea in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday night, knows it is important for Foden to remain humble in his bid to fulfil his enormous potential.

The Spaniard said: "It will be a different challenge for him.

"He has to be calm and understand the tough periods are going to come. It depends if he's humble with this and the love for the game, the expectations at that age, we'll see if he can handle it.

"Now people will expect him to do exceptional things every game, and this is the most difficult thing.

"Arriving and being there with 100 games, yeah it's difficult, but what is important now is to do 100 more and 100 more at this level and playing every day and winning every day. This is the toughest one.

"That is why the greatest players don't play one great match in Anfield or play good games, they stay five years in a row being consistent and not being injured and playing, playing, playing.

"This is the next target for Phil. Playing as high as possible as long as possible. It depends absolutely on him – and hopefully he can do it."

Foden has engineered a remarkable turnaround in his own fortunes – less than five months after being thrown out of an England squad in shame after being caught, along with team-mate Mason Greenwood, smuggling women into the team hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The serious breach of Covid-19 rules left Southgate seething and Foden was flown back to Manchester in disgrace before being axed from the next Three Lions squad.

But he has bounced back to put the scandal behind him and Guardiola added: "Normally we want to talk a lot about Phil for after that, we punished him.

"For one mistake he has done in his private life, we know exactly what happened, you know that. That is why I said to him 'don't read much or listen much', keep your feet on the grass and keep going."

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