- FIFA president Gianni Infantino has hailed Man City star Phil Foden on Instagram
- He said Foden has shown how ‘youth competitions help progress careers’
- IAN LADYMAN: If Spurs go toe-to-toe with City, they’ll have their trousers pulled down – It’s All Kicking Off
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has paid tribute to Man City star Phil Foden in a message on social media.
Infantino dedicated an Instagram story to the 23-year-old in a look back to two of his biggest career highlights.
The 53-year-old highlighted Foden’s growth from winning the U17 World Cup with England, to starring in his first senior World Cup in Qatar last year.
He posted a message on Wednesday evening – a year on since Foden scored his first senior World Cup goal in a 3-0 group stage victory over Wales.
Along with pictures of Foden from 2017 and last year, he wrote: ‘On this day last year, FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 champion and that edition’s Golden Ball winner, Phil Foden scored his first FIFA World Cup goal, showing how FIFA youth competitions help progress careers.’
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has hailed Man City’s Phil Foden in his Instagram stories
Infantino credited Foden for showing how ‘FIFA youth competitions help progress careers’
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Foden scored twice in the final of the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup against Spain and was named as the best player of the tournament.
A month later, he made his senior Man City debut in a Champions League game against Feyenoord, and hasn’t looked back since.
He has scored 66 goals in 237 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side, winning five Premier League titles, a Champions League trophy, two FA Cups and four Carabao Cups.
Foden made his senior England debut in August 2020, with last year’s World Cup his first for the senior Three Lions squad.
Despite all of his success since winning the U17 Fifa World Cup, he still credits the tournament as one of his ‘career highlights’.
In an interview with FIFA, he said: ‘Honestly, it’s something I think about most days. If I ever get a bit bored, I’ll watch that game back.’
He added: ‘It’s a time that sticks in my mind. I loved the whole feeling of the competition. I think about how special the team was, the bond we created and the togetherness we had.
‘We were all best mates and the quality was so high. You can see that with what many of us have gone on to do, playing for big teams on big stages. I really enjoyed working with the manager, [now Nottingham Forest boss] Steve Cooper too.
Foden (right) poses with his Golden Ball trophy from the U17 World Cup alongside the tournament’s top scorer Rhian Brewster (left) and Joel Latibeaudiere (centre)
‘He gave me the freedom to express myself. When you’re part of a team like that, you feel loved, and winning that tournament was one of the highlights of my career.
‘That tournament, for me personally, definitely helped me to go on play for Man City – to go out there when the Etihad is full and not feel the pressure and be myself.’
Other players who were part of that squad included Jadon Sancho, Marc Guehi, Conor Gallagher, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Emile Smith Rowe.