Men's Team

Foden: England aiming to play the game, not the occasion

Foden: England aiming to play the game, not the occasion
Phil Foden says England are ready to play the game and not the occasion as the Three Lions prepare to tackle Italy in Sunday’s momentous Euro 2020 final.

The Wembley showpiece will be the biggest national match in 55 years with England seeking to add a second major honour to add to their 1966 World Cup final win.

City attacking winger Foden is one of four City players who have played huge roles in England’s memorable route to the final.

Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Kyle Walker all started Wednesday’s dramatic 2-1 semi-final win over Denmark with Foden then making a telling impact as a substitute.

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However, though so much is at stake this weekend against Roberto Mancini’s impressive Italian side, Foden believes the key to success lies in the England players sticking to the tried and trusted approach that has brought them to the brink of glory.

“There are going to be so many emotions for the final with all the fans there,” Foden told the official England podcast.

“But as players we have just got to stay focused and treat it like it was the first game of the tournament.

“We don’t need to change anything as we’ve been brilliant in every game and (hopefully) we can get over the line.

WATCH: The best of Phil Foden

“To reach the final in our home stadium with the fans behind us is just an unbelievable feeling.

“And to be the first England team to reach the European Championship final just shows how special the squad is and how much work we have put in.

“It’s been difficult without seeing our families as much as normal, but we are just so delighted to have reached the final and I think it’s what we deserve.

“We know we’ve got a very tough final ahead of us, but we are all excited.”

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Foden’s joyous reaction to Harry Kane’s winning strike in extra time on Wednesday was, for many, the defining image of a night that will long be remembered in the national psyche.

The proud product of City's Academy revealed that being on the field when Kane struck the winner encapsulated many of his childhood dreams.

And he says playing both the semi-final and final at England’s national home has only added to the camaraderie and spirit of unity that Gareth Southgate has engendered throughout the Three Lions squad.


                        ROAR POWER: Phil Foden's expression says it all after Harry Kane's winner
ROAR POWER: Phil Foden's expression says it all after Harry Kane's winner

“You could see my emotion (on Wednesday). Everyone was together and it was such a special moment to share with the fans,” Foden added.

“It’s what you dream of as a kid, playing for England and for us to score that goal to get us in the final, I felt like I had scored personally!

“You just feed off the fans behind you. It just motivates you even more and gives you that extra few per cent you might need on the night.

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“I can imagine for the fans they were so nervous when Harry was stepping up to take the penalty.

“But it just shows the class of the players that we didn’t look nervous. I thought we controlled the game, and we were just so delighted to get the result in the end.

“I was just excited to get on and to try and make things happen (on Wednesday).

WATCH: Phil Foden: Mini Me

"I’ve played wide recently for England, so when Gareth let me know I was coming on in midfield it was a new role for me and he just gave me information about where to go and what to do.

“I just enjoy working with Gareth and even the lads who haven’t played are still happy and supporting the players who are playing.

“That’s the environment he creates – he’s got everyone’s back and I’m just enjoying working with him and the players.”

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