LONDON: Manchester City star Phil Foden has been engaging with supporters in the Middle East as he prepares for the team’s highly anticipated Champions League final against Premier League rivals Chelsea, which takes place in Portugal on Saturday.
Foden, now considered one of England’s best talents, discussed topics including switching focus from the Premier League title success, the historical importance of Saturday’s game, and the difficulties which come with trying to win the Champions League.
Manchester City lifted the Premier League title for the third time in four years following Sunday’s 5-0 win over Everton but Foden, who played an integral role in that triumph, pointed out that with such a big game on the horizon, it was quickly time to refocus.
He said: “The celebrations on Sunday were really special because the Premier League is our everyday focus for such a big part of the season. But when we came in on Monday, that was done.
“We have one game left now and it is a huge one. One that our club has never played in before and one even some of the best players in the world never get to be part of. All our focus is on winning that game and getting our hands on that trophy.”
Pep Guardiola’s side eventually won the title comfortably, finishing 12 points ahead of second-placed Manchester United. Earlier in the season, however, the team struggled for consistency, making the relatively smooth finish all the more impressive.
“It was definitely tough at the start of the season. We finished last season so late and didn’t get much of a break before starting again, and that probably had an effect. But we always knew what this team was capable of.
“We started talking about how we were much better than our place in the table and how we needed to come together and show it. Luckily, we did that, and we went on this incredible run. Now we have two trophies, and we want to add a third,” Foden added.
City now face Chelsea, who have beaten them twice in recent months, in Porto as they aim to secure the Champions League for the first time in their history.
The magnitude of the occasion is not lost on 20-year-old Foden, who will be looking to add the biggest trophy of them all to his ever-expanding collection.
“It would be huge for us,” said Foden, who is expected to play a leading role in England’s mission to win the UEFA Euro tournament this summer. “It’s what we’ve all been working toward for so long. But it’s not easy. All of the best teams in Europe are aiming to win this competition every season and only one can win the trophy so it’s impossible for them all to do it.
“It’s a dream to have the chance to play in such a huge game and we understand the importance. Not just to us but to our fans. Hopefully, we can make them proud,” he added.