KOLKATA: Phil Foden emerged as the star of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 017 as the Young Lions midfielder not only found the back of the net twice in the final as England secured the first ever U-17 World Cup title, but also won the Golden Ball Award presented.
The Manchester City midfielder scored thrice over the duration of the tournament, including a brace against Spain in the championship match, as he marked an incredible rise on the international stage with several eye-catching displays.
It has been a remarkable rise for a player who has made a big impression during Manchester City’s pre-season tour of United States.
Manchester City played city rivals Manchester United in July at Texas, though Manchester United won the game 2-0 but the 17-year-old did enough to impress everyone including coach Pep Guardiola.
“It’s been a good one, obviously expectations for myself weren’t as much as I got but that’s the way it goes,” Foden. “I’m so thankful for what has happened at this tournament and all the boys did really well.”
“there were almost 70,000 people in the stadium and the atmosphere was unbelievable. For me to be a part of it, part of the silverware that we got, is special and to get a goal is even more special, it’s like a dream.”
Foden’s 69th minute goal gave the Young Lions the lead in the final before his goal in the 88th minute ended any hopes of a Spanish comeback.
“It was a great ball from Callum (Hudson-Odoi), and I was just hovering in the pocket,” he said about his first goal which was arguably the goal of the tournament. “The ball was nice, my first touch opened up straight away.”
“I looked like I was running at the centrebacks but all I had in my mind was to shoot. The boys were saying it bobbled up a bit, but I caught it sweetly and all I saw was it hit the back of the net.
“I was in the best position to shoot and I don’t want to give up that opportunity. When I see the centrebacks going back I just want to take it, and it went in so I was happy.”
He will now return to Manchester City, with speculation rampant he will move to bigger and better things in the near future.
Photo: Santanu Biswas