Phil Foden has been hailed as ‘mesmeric’ after engineering Manchester City’s winner against Atletico Madrid.
Pep Guardiola’s side clinched a 1-0 win over the LaLiga side int he first leg of their Champions League quarter final thanks to Kevin De Bruyne’s 70th-minute strike.
Foden entered the fray in the 68th minute and wasted no time in making an impact as just 80 seconds after coming on he unlocked the Atletico defence to set up De Bruyne.
Phil Foden (left) has been hailed as ‘mesmeric’ after engineering Man City ‘s winner against Atletico Madrid
Kevin De Bruyne struck in the 70th minute for City in the Champions League quarter final
Rodri played the ball into the feet of the England international, who took a couple of touches to create an opening.
Finally facing forward, he then orchestrated the goal as he threaded the ball through to the Belgian who confidently slotted home to break the deadlock.
Following the game, Foden left pundits in raptures as they claimed the youngster could go down as the best English player of all time.
The 21-year-old set up De Bruyne (right) for Man City’s winner against Atletico Madrid
Foden made an instant impact as he orchestrated the goal just 80 seconds after coming on
Speaking on BT Sports former Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott said: ‘Exceptional. I don’t think there’s been a period where he’s playing and he hasn’t contributed to the goals.
‘He’s impacted so many games. He’s impacting the big games, and if he continues to do that, who knows what he can become?
‘Phil Foden is associated with Man City and I know what it means for him to play for the club. If he continues at this rate, he goes down as the best English player of all time with two trophies a season.
‘His mentality sets him apart. If you compare him with someone like Wayne Rooney, you can see players who are hurt when they don’t win. He is obsessed, I love what I do but he needs to do it.
BT Sport pundit Joleon Lescott said Foden can become the best English footballer of all time
‘We had to remove the balls from the hotel because you could not get him off the training ground as he wants to improve all the time.’
‘I know what it means for him to play for this club. I’ve said it before, but if he continues at the rate he is developing, he goes down as arguably the best English player, the most decorated ever, to continually progress and arguably get two trophies a season.
‘I compare him to a Wayne Rooney. We all want to win, but then there are players that need to win. You can see it hurts him if he doesn’t. He’s obsessed. I loved playing, I loved training and doing what I could do, but he needs to do it all the time.’
Rio Ferdinand echoed Lescott’s praise as he likened ‘phenomenal’ Foden to an artist and claimed his entry into the game posed greater problems for Atletico.
‘When you’ve got someone like Phil Foden, Jack Grealish – people who are like artists and can come on the pitch and pose different threats to this team – it’s very difficult to adjust during the game when you’ve planned for certain pictures, certain people,’ he said.
Ex-Man United defender Rio Ferdinand likened the ‘phenomenal’ 21-year-old to an artist
‘You’ve got used to it in the first 45 but then the picture changes. Phil Foden came on… mesmeric at times, phenomenal.
‘You’ve got to understand that this is a young player. The cameo he came on… the composure that he’s got, the ability to draw players to him – me and Joleon were grabbing each other!
‘Footwork again, he causes that havoc. He’s got that clarity on the ball.’
Meanwhile, Owen Hargreaves, who played for both Manchester sides, claimed Foden can play at world-class level in a number of positions.
‘He’s able to do this,’ he said. ‘He’s a false nine, a right winger, as a No 10, as a deeper midfielder, he can play off the left.
Meanwhile, Owen Hargreaves insisted Foden can play at world-class level in several positions
‘It’s hard enough to play at this level. He can play at a world-class level arguably in four or five different positions. It’s special.’
Over on BBC Radio Five Live, Dion Dublin was also singing Foden’s praises as he insisted the goal came entirely from the substitute’s vision.
‘Phil Foden came on and played like he was in a playground,’ said Dublin. ‘The ball is like it is stuck to his foot.
‘He is always looking forward and being positive. The Sky Blue shirts change their body language and they were all making runs when he is on.
‘De Bruyne scored but it all came from Foden’s vision, his pass and his quality.’
Thanks to Foden’s vision Man City take a one-goal advantage to Madrid when they face Diego Simeone’s side in the second-leg.
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