Phil Foden blocked out the noise and let his football do the talking to seize his World Cup opportunity.
Phil Foden was understandably delighted to score his first World Cup goal on Tuesday, but he has promised that there is much more to come from him in an England shirt.
After starting England’s World Cup group stage matches against Iran and the United States on the bench, Gareth Southgate gave the public what they wanted and promoted Foden to his starting XI. The Manchester City attacker did not disappoint.
After a quiet first half Foden switched from the right wing to the left, and early in the second half he won the free-kick from which Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford opened the scoring. A minute later the 22-year-old scored himself, latching on to Harry Kane’s low cross to send England on their way to a 3-0 win and a first-place finish in Group B.
After the match Foden was beaming from ear to ear – after all, scoring your first World Cup goal on your full World Cup debut is something few achieve. Despite that though, Foden believes he has much more to give.
“Mate honestly, one the best feelings I’ve ever had in my career,” he said after the match. “You probably could see by my celebration, it meant so much. I expect more from myself as well, I expect to be scoring more goals.”
Foden admitted that he felt the pressure to perform during the build-up to the game, but revealed that a healthy rivalry with his teammates helped him to focus and seize his opportunity.
“It’s hard not to hear what everyone’s saying but I try not to read too much, try to be me, be humble and work hard. I felt a little bit of pressure [vs Wales] to be honest because everyone was pushing for me to play. I just tried to relax and play my own football.
“I was raring to get the start and thanks to Gareth [Southgate], he started me vs Wales. I thought, all the wingers had scored and, ‘When is it going to be my chance’? So to get the opportunity to play in such a big game and to score was extra special.”