Phil Foden: A gift from heaven!

Phil Foden is the pride of Man City. It is not an exaggeration to assert that Foden is one of the best, even the most outstanding, products of The Citizens Training Center.

Phil Foden Món quà đến từ thiên đường! 1

But Foden’s first team was not City but Reddish Vulcans, to be exact, the U7 group of the Reddish Vulcans Youth Football Training Center, once based in Stockport, far from Foden’s old home, where he was born and raised. Up just a few dozen steps.

Reddish Vulcans has moved its headquarters to another location (in Heaton Mersey). The place that was a youth football center more than two decades ago has now been replaced by apartments and an elementary school, but the artificial turf field – where Foden played his first football matches in his life – is still there. , even though the weeds are overgrown. Many locals are probably unaware that a superb football talent once started here, but Joe Makin will never forget.

If you don’t know, Joe Makin was the first person to discover Foden’s football talent – at Reddish Vulcans – the starting point for the magical journey of the young man who was just praised by Pep Guardiola as «on top of the world». ”.

“I remember one of Phil’s first training sessions,” Makin recalls. “Every time the ball flew up, it always seemed to find Phil’s right spot. Finally a parent came and asked me, ‘The new boy, the left-footed boy, where did he come from? At that time, I remember looking up at the sky and saying: From Heaven’.

Makin’s recollection continued: «During a match in the East Manchester Under-7 football tournament, Phil shocked everyone present that day. The match just started and boom, Phil passed all the opposing players and scored on the first play. A few minutes later, the same scenario repeated. Phil dribbled past the whole team, scored the second goal and this time he didn’t even bother to celebrate the goal. I was there and heard the chatter from the parents of the boys on the field. “We would be willing to pay to watch this boy play, right?”

Foden has 18 goals this season, the best achievement in his career playing in City’s first team. This number will certainly increase in the rest of the season.

For the England team, Foden has had 31 international matches and perhaps this is the time when everyone needs to seriously re-evaluate Foden’s value, position and potential contribution to the «Three Lions». .

Gareth Southgate, England coach, was present at Etihad Stadium with his assistant – Steve Holland, to watch the Manchester derby in early March. What they witnessed was the latest evidence of what Foden can do with the ball. It’s hard to imagine, if Foden continues to produce such superb performances, he won’t be England’s top starting choice at this summer’s EURO.

Phil Foden Món quà đến từ thiên đường! 2

“Even now, my heart still beats every time I watch Phil play and think about what he can do. Foden’s 1-1 equalizer against United, for example. You’ve seen the same thing from Phil since he was just a kid and now you see it happen in a top game. It was a real dream and the feeling inside me is still the same as ever.»

Minute 56, the ball was on Foden’s left foot. A fluid dribble to evade the nearest defender, Victor Lindelof, and create space for himself. Then there was a shot that put the ball into the far corner of Onana’s goal. Simply unstoppable!

“It was a trademark Reddish Vulcans goal,” Makin said.

“Receive the ball, move it to the side with the outside of your dominant foot and you will have more space. You don’t need to get past a player, you just need to create a spatial advantage to be able to take your shot, by sending the ball to the far corner. We taught the kids at Reddish Vulcans all that. So proud and happy to see it appear at Etihad, from Phil – a guy who started from Vulcans.»

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Makin, currently chairman of the Vulcans, is in his 30th year at the club, while also taking on a job in Man City’s academy recruitment department. He could rattle off a long list of former Vulcans who were discovered at a young age and made a name for themselves in soccer. However, none of them approached Foden’s current level.

Foden grew up in Grenville Street, near Edgeley Park, in a family of three generations of City fans. For Makin: “It’s a classic football story: townhouses and football matches in the streets. Phil has a wall that he can kick a football at for hours every day. He used it to develop his touch and handling of the ball. Look what a player that has created.»

What kind of player is Foden, the best way is to listen to Pep Guardiola talk about «number 47» in his statement after the Manchester derby.

“Right now, Phil is the best player in the Premier League. To be world class, you have to win matches. And that’s what Phil is doing and doing it very well. Score and win. When you do this, you reach another level as a player.”

At City, they talk about the days when Pep Guardiola often stood on the touchline and asked Foden to slow down instead of always moving at high speed. Over time, Foden understood the Catalan coach’s «pausa, pausa» instructions. And what this guy has shown over the past few years shows why “slow down” and “pay attention to the rhythm” are good advice.

Guardiola said: «Phi is already a legendary player because of his age, the number of games played, the number of minutes, the number of goals scored, the titles won.» “He likes football, he lives for football. “Phil is from here (Manchester) and that’s why the connection he has with the fans is unbelievable.”

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Special football qualities are a necessary condition to reach the top, Foden has that. But the sufficient condition is character. According to Makin, «hard work, courage and love of competition at Foden are the factors that make the difference».

“When City fell behind, I noticed he was always ready to step up to take on a leading role. Even though Phil is one of the youngest players on the field, it is he who holds everything together.”

“What will be Phil Foden’s next step? «Golden Ball? I’m completely serious when I think about it. More and more, we will all feel that Phil will be one of the favorites for the annual Player of the Year award. I don’t want to be biased, but look at the way he plays, fights and wins. At this moment, Phil can be whatever he wants.”

One time when Phil visited the Reddish Vulcans center, he asked me this question: «To be honest, did you ever really believe that I would become a world-class player?».

I remember that day I told Phil: “When he was eight years old, I posted an article on the Vulcans website, with the title: “Please remember this name carefully: Phil Foden, one bet super fruit».

 

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