13 fun facts about Phil Foden

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Everything you need to know about Manchester City's academy starlet Phil Foden.

Phil Foden is an English professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for Manchester City and the England national team. He was born on May 28, 2000, in Stockport, Greater Manchester, England.

Foden joined the Manchester City youth academy at the age of eight and progressed through the ranks, impressing coaches with his technical skills and vision on the field. He made his first-team debut in November 2017, coming on as a late substitute in a Champions League game against Feyenoord.

Foden's breakthrough season came in 2019-20, when he made 38 appearances in all competitions and scored eight goals, helping Manchester City win the Premier League, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup.

Foden has also represented England at various youth levels, winning the Under-17 World Cup in 2017 and the Under-19 European Championship in 2018. He made his senior debut for England in September 2020 and has since become a regular member of the England squad.

Here are 13 interesting facts about Foden that you absolutely need to know.

  1. Creating waves at youth level

    Creating waves at youth level

    Foden's talents were clear since his early youth days with England. He first made waves on the youth circuit during the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup. England were crowned champions and Foden was named the tournament's best player. The following year, he helped England win the Under-19 European Championship.

    His Golden Ball at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 helped him gain some widespread coverage in the media.

  2. Nicknamed Ronnie by his family

    Nicknamed Ronnie by his family

    Foden has multiple nicknames but has always been referred to as ‘Ronnie’ by his family. It was the nickname his nan suggested to avoid the confusion of sharing his dad’s name.

    Manchester City teammate Benjamin Mendy has referred to Foden as ‘The Baby Shark’ many times on social media.

  3. £2 million home at 18 years of age

    His breakout brought him stardom and wealth but the youngster has always prioritised his family. At the age of just 18, Foden bought a £2 million home for himself and his family because he was determined to keep his close-knit family together, the Daily Mail reported in October 2018.

    Foden moved his family from Edgeley in Stockport to Bramhall in south Manchester.

  4. A Citizen since the age of four

    A Citizen since the age of four

    Foden joined the club at the age of four and signed his academy scholarship in July 2016. He progressed through the ranks at City and is now an important part of Pep Guardiola's side.

    "I was at primary school and I heard there was a City coach coming in to train the year six kids, I was several years below them, but they didn’t see any potential in that age group so they asked, ‘Have you got any other players that might interest us?’ Our PE teacher told them about me, and the coach brought me to train on my own outside. He said he liked me, gave me his card to give to my parents and asked them to give him a call. Ever since that day, I’ve been at City," said Foden on how he got picked up by City (via FourFourTwo)

  5. Comparisons with David Silva

    Comparisons with David Silva

    Due to his nimble-footed nature on the ball and extreme technical proficiency, Foden has drawn comparisons with Manchester City legend David Silva. The youngster has also mentioned how he looked up to the Spaniard and was inspired by him.

    The 22-year-old was fortunate to play with the Spanish magician at the start of his career as well. He has been tipped to take over the reins from Silva at City.

  6. Decorated career at a young age

    Decorated career at a young age

    Despite being just 22 years old, Foden has won plenty of trophies in his career already. The Englishman has four Premier League titles, one FA Cup, four Carabao Cups, and two Community Shields with Manchester City and has plenty of time to add to those accolades.

  7. Becoming a parent at 18

    In his personal life, Foden is in a relationship with Rebecca Cooke and has a son, Ronnie, born in January 2019. He has been in a relationship since his teenage years and got married when he was only 17 years old. Foden became a parent one year later, at 18.

    “If you have a bad game or a bad session, you’re disappointed, but now I think about the bigger picture,” Foden said about how having a kid has changed his perspective.

    “I go home and see him smiling, so there’s more important things than worrying about one bad session. You look at things in a different way when you’ve got a kid.

    "Honestly, I’m really enjoying it, but I find it quite difficult, always having away games and being away from him. He’s one now, so he’s missing me a bit."

  8. Loves Fishing
    Getty Images

    Loves Fishing

    When Foden isn’t making waves on the football pitch, he loves to relax and go fishing in his spare time.

    “Probably about 95% of the football lads don’t enjoy it,” Foden, who missed the City players’ 2018 Premier League title celebrations due to a pre-planned fishing trip with his dad, revealed.

    “The odd one likes fishing, so when people find out they say: ‘what a weird sport to enjoy’. They don’t understand why you enjoy it. Obviously, they need to go and try it. I think it’s the perfect hobby to rest your legs and have some down time.”

  9. Premier League Young Player of the Year in 2019

    Premier League Young Player of the Year in 2019

    Foden has his breakout during 2019-20 season. The Stockport youngster featured in 38 games in all competitions that season and registered eight goals along with nine assists, earning him the award for the Premier League's Young Player of the Season for the 2019-20 campaign.

  10. Youngest Englishman to score a UCL knockout goal

    Foden became Man City's youngest-ever goalscorer in the Champions League when he scored during the second leg of the Round of 16 tie against Schalke on 12 March 2019. He simultaneously became the youngest English goalscorer to score in the knock-out stage of the competition, aged 18 years and 288 days.

  11. Fourth youngest English player to play in the UCL

    Since breaking out at a young age, Foden has registered himself in the record books for being the youngest in achieving a lot of things. He became the fourth-youngest English player to make an appearance in the Champions League (17 years 177 days) and was the first player born in the year 2000 to start a match in the competition.

    He is also the second youngest English player to make a start in a UCL game, a record recently broken by Jude Bellingham. He still holds the record for the youngest English player to start in a UCL knockout game, doing so at 17 years and 283 days against Basel in 2018.

  12. Guiness World Record holder
    (C)Getty Images

    Guiness World Record holder

    Aged 17 years and 350 days at the end of the 2017-18 season, Foden received a winners’ medal after City's record-breaking centurion season. Guinness World Records recognised him for being the youngest player to win the Premier League medal in the 2020 edition of their book.

  13. Controversy during CoVID lockdown

    Off the pitch, Foden was involved in a controversy in September 2020 when he and fellow England international Mason Greenwood broke COVID-19 protocols by inviting women to their hotel room during a national team camp.

    The youngsters were sent home from the national team camp and issued a public apology for their actions and were later recalled to the England squad.