International Players

Phil Foden, the executioner of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé in the Champions League: who is the young man who fell in love with Pep Guardiola

Who is the young man who fell in love with Pep Guardiola

By Fredi Roman

Who is the young man who fell in love with Pep Guardiola
Who is the young man who fell in love with Pep Guardiola
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Dream of many, privilege of few. It is never easy to be a professional footballer, in no club in the world it is guaranteed to reach the first team. An innumerable number of boys dedicate years of their lives to the desire to be one, but too low a percentage is the one that obtains it. It is even more difficult in a club like Manchester City, with a massive economic power and the financial resources to sign any player that is of interest to them.

Looking ahead to the current season, despite the context of crisis due to the pandemic, it disbursed about USD 170 million in only three reinforcements: Ferran Torres (29 million), Nathan Aké (55 million) and Rúben Dias (86 million). And not only does he sign elite players, he also incorporates future talents, as he recently did with the Argentine Darío Sarmiento or the Brazilian Kayke.

Read more about Manchester City: Manchester City vs. Chelsea, Champions League 2021 final

His sports policy is very prone to thwarting the desire of the bright teenagers in his quarry. An obstacle that Phil Foden overcame with sheer talent. He made his debut with Pep Guardiola three seasons ago, at only 17 years old, and progressively became one of the team's figures.

He's an player product. He was born in Stockport, southeast of Manchester, and has been a Citizens fan since he was little because of his mother Claire. He joined the Academy at age 6 and was always a fervent supporter of the club. Since he was a child, he showed qualities and his dream began to take shape when he moved with his parents and his five brothers to the Cheadle neighborhood to study on a scholarship at St. Bede's College, the school where young people who are part of the lower divisions of the Manchester City.

He progressed as one of the players with the greatest projection, even tempted at times to join giants like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus or Bayern Munich, but as a lifelong City fan he didn't want to move. He just so happened that his love team, driven by Qatari management, became one of the best on the planet.

Phil Foden's debut

His official debut finally came on November 21, 2017 in a match against Feyenoord for the group stage of the Champions League, entering in the 75th minute for Yaya Touré. That time he had 10 appearances in all competitions, he even had more shooting with the reserve team, but he became the youngest player in history to receive a Premier League champion medal, recognized by the Guinness book. The City assured him that year a contract until 2024.

Little by little, he was earning his place in the Manchester City squad. He started out playing little and occupying the substitute bench many times. But his great talent allowed him to be a great asset to Pep Guardiola's team. His contribution to Manchester City this season is sensational. He has 46 games in all competitions - there are already 12 more than last year - and 14 goals, six more than the previous season.

Read more about Manchester City: Pep Guardiola: how many titles did he win as manager of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City?

He started 11 of the 12 Champions League games and has scored in important moments, such as in the 90th minute of the first leg of the quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund. He also converted on the turn. The spotlights of Erling Haaland were taken by a Phil Foden who also stood out over Kylian Mbappé in the tie against PSG. The French striker saw the English boy assist Riyad Mahrez in the home team's second goal from the substitute bench at Etihad Stadium.

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