World Soccer


- Jamie Evans, Assistant Editor

“He has everything to become one of the best players…Phil is the most, most, most talented player I have ever seen in my career as a manager.” For a man that has coached some of the world’s finest players, Pep Guardiola’s praise of Phil Foden is not to be taken lightly. The former Barcelona coach has heaped it on fairly regularly since arriving in Manchester, but it has taken until this season for him to truly place his trust in the young Mancunian. Foden’s time has arrived. After his devastatin­g display at Anfield back in February, World Soccer immediatel­y set Ryan Baldi the task of delving into the youngster’s past, to tell the story of how he became one of the most highly-regarded young players in world football (page 28). Foden also leads the way in our rundown of the 25 players to watch at the rapidly-approachin­g European Championsh­ip. As always, we’ve tried to pick out the less obvious candidates: those who’ve excelled under the radar, young players bidding to make a name for themselves, or those – like Foden – for whom the year-long delay to the tournament has helped propel them from outsiders to potential stars for their team. Finally, congratula­tions are in order for the national teams of the Comoros and Gambia, who have both qualified for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in their history (page 90). The joyous scenes of celebratio­n that followed both sides’ successes provided a reminder that, in spite of its faults, internatio­nal football is still capable of providing some of the sport’s most heartwarmi­ng moments.

Phil Foden’s time has arrived

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