Foden has been called ‘More talented than Messi’

“He’s the most talented player I’ve seen in my career, whether as an athlete or a manager. He has everything to become one of the best, and not just in England. He works very hard and knows we’re here to help him. “

The statement above about Phil Foden, the probable starter for the England national team in the match against Senegal, today, starting at 4 pm (Brasília time), in Al-Khor, for the round of 16 of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, was not given by any coach.

Whoever wove these heavy praises about the 22-year-old attacking midfielder was someone who managed Lionel Messi, simply the biggest winner in the history of the best player awards on the planet, during four seasons: Pep Guardiola.

It is the Catalan coach who has managed Foden since his first game as a professional for Manchester City, in December 2017, and who has been polishing what is considered the biggest diamond in England in recent times.

Just over a month before his debut in adult football, the attacking midfielder had won the best player award at the under-17 World Cup won by the English Team, which automatically made him a candidate for stardom.

Foden achieved a feat virtually unique to him in City’s era as European football’s nouveau riche. He left the club’s base categories, consolidated himself in the main squad, became a starter and took on a prominent role in the team.

The Englishman already has 53 goals and 36 assists in 189 matches for the Manchester team. This season, he has formed a perfect pairing with the Norwegian center forward Erling Haaland and has managed eight balls in the net and three perfect passes.

The great phase and hype around Foden put enormous pressure on Gareth Southgate to cast the number 20 shirt owner as a starter in the 2022 Cup. The England coach, however, preferred to stick to his convictions and started the tournament with darlings Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling in the starting line-up.

But then, in the last round of qualifying, with the English Team already practically qualified for the round of 16, the former defender decided to give Foden and Marcus Rashford an opportunity. And the two played too much in the 3-0 victory over Wales.

Therefore, it is very likely that England will have drastic changes in its formation for the confrontation against Senegal. What is at stake is going to the quarterfinals of the World Cup, a feat that the team from the country that invented football only managed to achieve three times in this century (South Korea and Japan-2002, Germany-2006 and Russia-2018).

The Qatar Cup is the first to be held in the Middle East and features seven of the eight teams that have already lifted the cup. For the second consecutive edition, the four-time champion Italy failed to qualify and is low – in addition, Germany and Uruguay were eliminated in the first phase.

The tournament is being played at the end of the year, and not in its usual period (June and July), because of the heat in the host country during the height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

This is the last edition of the FIFA competition with the format that has been used for 24 years, since France-1998. From the next World Cup, organized by the United States, Canada and Mexico, there will be 48 participants in the dispute for the title.

World Cup – Round of 16

Yesterday – Netherlands 3 x 1 United States, Khalifa International, in Al-Rayyan
Yesterday – Argentina 2 x 1 Australia, Ahmed bin Ali, in Al-Rayyan
Today at 12:00 – France v Poland, Al-Thumama in Doha
Today at 4pm – England v Senegal, Al-Bayt, Al-Khor
Tomorrow at 12:00 – Japan v Croatia, Al-Janoub, Al-Wakrah
Tomorrow, at 4pm – Brazil v South Korea, 974, Doha
12/06, at 12h – Morocco v Spain, Education City, Al-Rayyan
06/12, at 16:00 – Portugal x Switzerland, Nacional de Lusail, Lusail

Who will be World Cup champion? Vote!

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2.68%

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3.18%

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FRANCK FIFE / AFP

4.27%

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