Oct 27, 12 months ago



City could have three representatives in action – Phil Foden, Curtis Anderson and Joel Latibeaudiere – as England face Spain in India, with Eric Garcia also involved for the opposition.

The Young Lions will aim to follow in their elders’ footsteps, after the U20s won the trophy earlier this year – and Guardiola expressed his pride for his players’ performances.

England face Spain in the Under-17 World Cup final on Saturday in Kolkata after Liverpool youngster Rhian Brewster made it back-to-back hat-tricks in the Three Lions’ 3-1 semi-final triumph over Brazil.

City midfielder Phil Foden, goalkeeper Curtis Anderson and defender Joel Latibeaudiere, the team’s captain, all starred, with the latter now poised to lead out Steve Cooper’s side in the final.

“We are so happy for the players,” he told press. “It’s so good for English football.

“Big congratulations for the team. It is not just the U17s – it is also the U20s. For them to be in a final is fantastic.

“They are playing in a final with Spain, who have dominated European football in many categories.

The young players like Phil Foden and others, they play when they deserve. At the end of the day it’s up to him,” Guardiola told a news conference ahead of City’s Premier League match at West Brom.

“About their quality, it is up to us to help them develop. We have no doubt about Phil Foden’s quality and the other guys but we must be calm.’

“Phil has been training with us, like Tosin Adarabioyo has been training with us. Joel has come sometimes to training sessions.

“Phil had the opportunity to stay here with us and play in the game against Wolves but we believe that when these guys have the opportunity to play in a World Cup, it is an amazing opportunity.

“Young players play when they deserve it. At the end of the day, it is up to them and their quality.

“It is up to us to help them to develop. Aged under-17 and training with our team is great.

“We have no doubts about their quality but we must be calm and take things step by step.

“The gap from their age group to the highest level is big. That’s something we’ll work out.

“It’s good for them to go to the U17 World Cup. As young people, we will help that to develop.

“The more English guys we can bring to the first-team, the better and it will help us.”

Guardiola confirmed Foden would have been in contention for the midweek EFL Cup tie against Wolves but it was decided the experience of competing for world honours with his country was more beneficial.

Guardiola knows full well the tough task ahead of Foden and company but believes England can certainly hold their own.

“We are so happy for Phil, for Joel, for the goalkeeper. It is good, of course, for English football,” he added. “Big congratulations to the team.

“Of course, the final will not be easy against Spain because Spain in the last decade dominated world and European football in all categories.

“But England are going to be really excited to try and win this competition for the first time. I think it will be an equal final.”


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