Men's Under 21s
Men's Under 21s

England's Phil Foden aiming to add U21 EURO medal to his growing collection

Monday 17 Jun 2019
Phil Foden meets local fans in Italy after the U21s' first training session

Phil Foden is looking to add another medal to his growing collection at the U21 Euro Finals this summer.

At 19, the Manchester City forward is one of the youngest players at the competition in Italy, but certainly one of the most decorated after collecting a number of titles with both club and country.

It all started with the Young Lions less than two years ago when he helped fire England to the U17 World Cup title in India, ahead of breaking into the first-team squad at City shortly afterwards.

And after helping Pep Guardiola’s squad to two Premier League titles and two EFL Cup successes in the last two seasons, he admits he’s getting a taste for success.

“It’s all about keeping winning the next thing, once you win one thing, you want to win the next thing,” he explained, from the U21s’ Euro base in Cesena.

“For me, I just love winning. Every game I go into I just want to win it. It’s the excitement of winning and that’s what I want to do.

Foden in action for the U21s against Germany in March

“That [U17s World Cup] was the first and biggest one that I won and then I started winning trophies with City - cups and leagues.

“It’s hard to pick one, every single one is special to me. I remember Reddish Vulcans, winning a little tournament there and getting a medal. I was about eight or nine. It made me realise I want to win more and more.”

England kick-off their campaign with a mouth-watering clash against France in Cesena on Tuesday evening and Foden admits he can’t wait to get the action underway in what is his first major international tournament since the aforementioned U17 World Cup.

“I’m excited, playing against great players and with great players, it’s such a big challenge for me and I can’t wait for the first game,” he admits.

“You get a bit of nerves beforehand, but for me once I get my first touch in the game, it’s gone. It’s just like playing on the park and expressing myself.

“I’m sure it will be even harder to win this tournament, as there are lot of better players, both older and more experienced, but I’m excited to get going and see how it goes.

“It takes a lot of heart and desire, especially when you get into the later stages. You’ve just got to use your mind and heart and pull through it.”

Foden and his team-mates are now settled at their base camp in Italy ahead of their Euro opener

The Stockport-born playmaker also feels as though he fits perfectly into the way England want to play in this tournament.

With Gareth Southgate’s senior squad just one step away for the players in Aidy Boothroyd’s group, it’s a perfect place to showcase your ability in a prestigious environment and Foden believes all of the national teams are demonstrating their way of playing.

“It comes down to Gareth to be honest, just letting us play free and the way we want to play,” he said.

“You can tell England youth, and even the seniors, that are doing that, playing out from the back, just being free and expressing ourselves.

“There’s no fear and no fear to play, it’s the best way to play.”

You can watch all of England’s U21 Euro games live on Sky Sports Football. And if you fancy making the trip to Italy to watch in person, you can still pick up tickets.

By Nicholas Veevers