Phil Foden’s standout answer to academy coach when asked his Man City ambition

Phil Foden has a medal for roughly every 14 games he has played for Manchester City.

It’s an incredible statistic – made even more spectacular by the fact that he has made 56 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s men since he helped them lift their last trophy, the Carabao Cup, 13 months ago.

In the coming weeks, Foden has the opportunity to add to a haul that already includes two Premier League titles, three League Cups, the FA Cup and two Community Shields from the first 116 games he has played for the club he has always supported.

Starting today when City look to take the Carabao Cup home from Wembley for a fourth successive season when they meet Tottenham.

Guardiola’s side are also on the brink of winning their third title in four years.

And with a Champions League semi-final meeting with Paris St Germain looming on Wednesday night, there is a chance that Foden’s 21st birthday on May 28 will be spent getting an early night in preparation for the biggest game in club football the following evening.

“Phil wants to be the best player in the world,” said Jason Wilcox, City’s academy manager and a title winner himself with Blackburn in 1995.

“It doesn’t matter how many medals he wins, I don’t think he will ever lose his hunger because he loves playing football. It’s what he was born to do.

“When he was coming through the academy I asked all the players what motivated them.

“Some of them said, quite understandably, that they wanted to buy mum and dad a big house or look after their families.

“Phil said ‘I just want to be a City legend.’ That was it. That’s what drives him.

“He’s loves City so much that he still wanted to be a ball boy for the first team when he was playing for the Under-18s.He is living his dream.”

One of Wilcox’s first memories of Foden was seeing the 12-year-old midfielder thrown into a game at Stoke against players who were two years older and much bigger.

By then, talk of the “unbelievable kid from Stockport” had already reached the first-team dressing room.

Pablo Zabaleta, the Argentine cult hero who is one of Lionel Messi’s best friends, could not believe his eyes when he finally saw Foden in the flesh.

Zabaleta said: “I had heard about this kid in the academy and when I started my coaching badges I got to work with Gareth Taylor and the Under-15s team.

“Phil was 14 – but even then his natural talent was incredible. But what really impressed me was his intelligence and the way he listened to his coaches.

“I think having someone with a Mancunian accent doing so well is very important to City after the era of spending so much money to buy foreign players and develop the infrastructure of the club.

“When David Silva left I think we all expected Foden to take his shirt.

“He had to be patient to get his chance because Pep needed to be sure he was ready.

“But it says a lot that he is now showing the same level of creativity and consistency that Silva brought to the team.

“It’s important that Phil keeps his feet on the ground because he has everything to become a star of world football.

“I think being a dad will help him. I saw Phil with his son at Vincent Kompany’s testimonial and being a family man will help him stay focussed.”

Foden was named player of the tournament when he helped England win the Under-17s World Cup four years ago and he has already been capped six times at senior level.

His place in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Euros seems ­assured.

Philip Walter Foden has plenty of ­unfinished business.

Source: Read Full Article