It is difficult to locate a player of Phil Foden’s quality anywhere else in the world, according to Manchester City team-mate Fernandinho. The pair will likely play key roles in Saturday’s Champions League final against Chelsea.
City are aiming to win a treble of honours this season, having already secured the Premier League and the Carabao Cup.
England star Foden could mark an impressive campaign with a 50th City appearance of the season in the final, which will be held at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.
The midfielder, who turned 21 on Friday, has scored 16 goals for Pep Guardiola’s side this term. Three of those have come during a European campaign that could end with his boyhood club winning their first Champions League trophy.
Foden has also become an important member of Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad.
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He made his debut against Iceland in September before scoring his first two international goals against the same opposition two months later.
City captain Fernandinho has revealed that he has not been surprised by Foden’s form this season. The Brazilian believes Foden’s ability is unique.
“For me personally, it’s no surprise at all. Foden has been training with us for four, five years already and he’s grown up so much,” Fernandinho said ahead of Saturday’s final.
“The quality he has is hard to find and the desire he has is incredible. He grew up so much in this competition this season.
“When we start the season no one knows what will happen but he has kept his feet on the ground and I think that’s one of the reasons he’s at the level he is now. He’s a very important player and I hope it keeps going in the future.
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They defeated Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-final, with Foden scoring in each leg, before beating Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-final.
Fernandinho has been impressed by the way his team-mates have responded to setbacks this season and has urged them to escape the feeling of pressure.
He continued: “I think this season in the CL in knockout games we showed how capable we are.
“Dortmund away concede first, PSG away concede first, to turn it around playing the same way was one of the keys for this team.
“The world is going to watch this game. It’s important not to feel the pressure, [to] try to be as relaxed as we can and focus on the game.
“Try to do the same thing we have done this season. Don’t change nothing. Play simple.
“I think that’s the best way to prepare and to win.
“My message is not to change anything and be as relaxed as much as you can.”