Guardiola eager for Phil Foden return following England U17's heroics


The talented teenager played a starring role for the Young Lions this afternoon as he netted twice in a 5-2 win over Spain to help clinch the World Cup at that level - and his performances throughout the tournament in England have been widely praised.

Barcelona's Sergio Gomez gave Spain the lead after Morgan Gibbs-White failed to make the most of a chance for England in as early as the third minute.

The Three Lions colts hammered The La Rojas juniors 5-2 in the highest-scoring final in the history of this age-group tournament.

The best hat-tip to Foden on Saturday came from Spain coach Santi Denia, though, who revealed that because of Foden's ability to cut inside, their focus in terms of protecting a flank was always more on Callum Hudson-Odoi on England's left side.

England striker Rhian Brewster, who scored in the first half, finished as the tournament's leading scorer with eight.

England, who lost the Under-17 European Championship final to Spain on penalties in May, added to their success at youth level this year following victories in the Under-20 World Cup and Under-19 European Championship. England now became the ninth champion of the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup.

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Off a fine pass from Abel Ruiz from the center, Juan Miranda sent a cross from the left which Gelabert managed to squeeze himself between two England defenders and flipped it in front for Gomez to do the rest.

Just after the cooling break, Spain doubled the lead against the run of play.

Yet Guardiola, whose in-form team have taken 28 points from a possible 30 in the Premier League, felt Foden was better served playing against his peers on a global stage along with City colleagues Joel Latibeaudiere and Curtis Anderson.

England have showed throughout the tournament though that nothing phases them, and after piling on the pressure nearly scored through Foden's header and Hudson-Odoi's superb curling effort that smacked into the post.

In the first semi-final clash, Spain defeated Mali 3-1 at the Dr. DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai to book a berth in the finals for the fourth time. Substitute Yuri Alberto scored the second in the 88th minute.

England continued to dominate and peppered Alvaro Fernandez with shots from outside the box, and on 69 minutes the lightning-quick Hudson-Odoi surged into the box before delivering a sublime low cross to the far post for Foden to slam home.