Phil Foden out to ‘prove everyone wrong’ with dazzling displays in England shirt

Phil Foden Out To ‘Prove Everyone Wrong’ With Dazzling Displays In England Shirt
Phil Foden
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By Ian Parker, PA

Phil Foden knows the spotlight will be on him at Euro 2024 but he is determined to prove he can replicate his outstanding club form in an England shirt.

Foden, who turned 24 this week, was named Premier League player of the season after his starring role in securing Manchester City’s unprecedented fourth consecutive league title.


Enjoying his best season in a City shirt, midfielder Foden scored 27 goals in all, 19 of them in the league, as he thrived in a more central role for much of the campaign.

Manchester City Parade
Phil Foden is now a six-time Premier League winner at the age of just 24. Photo: Bradley Collyer/PA.

He looks a certain starter for England in Germany this summer, but Foden acknowledges he is yet to have the same influence for Gareth Southgate’s side as he has for City.


“There’s a lot of pressure on my shoulders,” Foden told the PA news agency. “A lot of people are saying I need to show more for my country. I don’t mind the pressure. I feel like I can definitely be a lot better for the national team.

“I’m so determined now to put on the shirt and prove everyone wrong and try and continue my form.”

Foden who has joined the McDonald’s Fun Football programme as an ambassador – a programme that provides free, inclusive football coaching for children aged five to 11 across more than 1,500 locations in the UK – wans to ensure he can use his platform to help and inspire the next generation.

Speaking after his first Fun Football session, he said: “These days make everything hit home. The kids hang off your every word and move you make – it’s fun to share advice and give them the confidence to keep having fun and just play.


Foden has joined the McDonald’s Fun Football programme as an ambassador. Photo: McDonald’s Fun Football.

“It shows how much impact we have on the next generation – that was me not long ago!

“It makes you realise how important it is that we have a good summer and my role in that, as well as making sure that those that we do inspire have access to free football to enjoy.


“That is why I joined the programme. If I can encourage kids across the country to start their football journey as a result of my performances than that can only be a good thing.”

City needed Foden to step up, with Kevin De Bruyne missing more than half of the season with a hamstring injury.

The champions had their struggles before Christmas but something clicked for Foden.

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola told his young star, ‘don’t try and be Phil Foden every action’ Photo: Richard Sellers/PA.

Following the Club World Cup in December, he scored a crucial equaliser in a come-from-behin. win over Everton before a stretch in February that included a hat-trick against Brentford, a winner at Bournemouth, and a brace against rivals Manchester United.

Two goals against West Ham on the final day helped seal the title.

But in order to reach the heights he did, City’s number 47 had to understand Pep Guardiola’s instruction to “not try to be Phil Foden” every time he was on the ball.

“I think I’ve just grown as a man,” Foden said. “I’ve become more mature on the pitch.

“The manager has spoken a few times about how I was so energetic, wanting to prove to the world how good I was. The best advice he gave me this year is, ‘don’t try and be Phil Foden every action’. And I really took that advice. I mixed up my game.”

Foden is coming off his best season for Manchester City. Photo: McDonald’s Fun Football.

Not “being Phil Foden” means slowing things down.

“When I got the ball I wanted to run straight on and make something happen,” he said. “I play in a team where we’re not like this, we’re not so direct. We have good build-up and then we find the right pass to attack the team…

“It was the best advice he could ever give me. It was so simple but something I needed to hear…

“I know what the team wants, when to slow it down, when to speed up. I’m proud of how far I’ve come this year.”

This was Foden’s sixth Premier League title, going into a medal collection that also includes a Champions League, Club World Cup, two FA Cups and four League Cups.

Despite his tender years, a place in history is something that Foden thinks about. Ryan Giggs’ record of 13 Premier League titles is in his crosshairs.

England Squad Announcement 2024
Foden is eager to deliver in an England shirt. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA.

“I want to be up there with the best names in football,” he said. “Giggs holds the record now for the most Prems. I’m not going to lie. It’s something I look at and think, if I stay at Man City why can’t I achieve that?”

Foden has scored four goals in 33 appearances for England to date. At City, he knows his job in a well-oiled machine, but everything changes on international duty.

“It’s difficult at times,” Foden said. “The manager has a different way of playing, you play with new players.

“Sometimes when you get the ball you’re not sure if they’re going to run behind or come short. It’s just about building connections.

“I’ve been playing the last few times for England with similar players and I think that’s helped me and my performances have definitely improved.”

Foden is targeting glory with England at Euro 2024. Photo: McDonald’s Fun Football.

Even so, Foden knows he can keep getting better.

“I feel like I’ve adapted well this year in a club shirt to different scenarios,” he said. “So I’m hoping I can go to the national team and do the same…

“That’s my aim now, to do the nation proud, to perform to the best of my abilities. I know it’s coming now in an England shirt.”

:: Phil Foden has joined the McDonald’s Fun Football team to celebrate thousands of free hours of football coaching being made available this summer for children aged 5-11. Sign up at

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