Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says Phil Foden has grown into a player who “never hides” after the England international inspired his club to reach a second Champions League semi-final.
The midfielder scored in both legs of their 4-2 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund, including a stunning second goal in last night’s 2-1 victory at the Westfalenstadion.
The result set-up a semi with Paris Saint-Germain, where Foden will test himself against another of the world’s hottest talents, Kylian Mbappe.
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“You have the feeling that he is a guy who never hides,” Guardiola said about Foden, who ran to celebrate his goal with the head coach.
He always creates something. He is dynamic offensively, defensively with quality in the smaller spaces. He is learning right now not to take just one touch, he is able to make more touches when making decisions.
“He scored two important goals, the second goal in the Etihad and today helped us to be in the semi-final.
We knew it from the beginning. He grew up. In the quarter-final of the Champions League, he was the important player to go through to play against PSG.
For all of City’s relative domestic dominance in recent years, this represents just the second time they have made it this far in Europe’s top club competition and the first since Guardiola took over, and he wants to go all the way.
"For the club it is so important, we cannot deny it,” he said.
This competition is tough. You work for 10 months and you are judged for one game. You go out and your season is judged a failure, a disaster club. This is not fair. We cannot judge what these guys have done in four or five years.
"But saying that, psychologically, for all of us - the players, myself, the backroom staff, my chairman, CEO, to pass this moment of the quarter-finals to get to the semi-finals was necessary.
"Now, of course, we want more."
Guardiola was also full of praise for Dortmund’s young England player Jude Bellingham, who scored his own brilliant goal to put the German side ahead in the game. A contender to make Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Euros, the City boss cannot quite believe he is yet to turn 18.
"Maybe he's a liar!" Guardiola said.
He's so good for 17-years-old, he's a fantastic player. There was one moment when he didn't get the ball from central defenders, how he shouts and demands that ball to him at 17 means a lot.
"I spoke with his manager, Edin (Terzic), and he told me what you see in these two games is like every training session."
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