Monday, January 30, 2023

Phil Foden explains why he does not wish to “big up” Jude Bellingham, despite his outstanding performance

Phil Foden explains why he does not wish to “big up” Jude Bellingham, despite his outstanding performance

Phil Foden praised Jude Bellingham as a generational talent as England advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate’s team dominated Senegal at the Al Bayt because to an outstanding performance by the 19-year-old England forward Bellingham.

On Saturday, they will meet the reigning world champions, France, but Bellingham stole the stage with a performance that demonstrated his world-class talent.

Foden, 22, of Manchester City feels Bellingham is meant to become the best midfielder in the world and will be a tremendous asset against France.

Foden said: “I don’t want to big him up because he’s still young but he’s one of the most gifted players I’ve ever seen. I don’t see any weaknesses in his game, I think he’s got everything and I’m sure he’s going to be the best midfielder in the world.

“We’re all buzzing with the result, we’re going to celebrate tonight. It’s knockout football now, we’re going to have to recover and think about our next opponent which is going to be really tough.

“They look like the strongest up to now and everywhere you look they’ve got talented players but we back ourselves on the day and we’re confident.

“Senegal are a great team, I think they’d cause some great teams problems. They went man-to-man and very physical but it’s about buying time, keeping the ball moving and finding where the space is. I came off the line more for the first goal, flick round the corner, our wingers got more involved in the game and influence it more.”

Foden produced two assists as Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, and Bukayo Saka scored for England, which can now look forward with confidence.

It was also a great night for Foden, who once again sparkled and demonstrated why he deserves to start for England.

He added: “It was important to show everyone my game, I wanted to bring my good form into the World Cup and I felt tonight was probably my best England game so I’m really happy.”

On the assist for Saka, Foden added: “I saw him lingering around in the box, I’ve seen Koulibaly coming across and I managed to get it through his legs. Bukayo is really good at that: being in the right place at the right time and I’m glad I found him.”

Bellingham paid tribute to Henderson and lauded the 32-year-old as a tremendous inspiration and England player.

He added: “Brilliant performance and I’ve seen some of the rubbish that was said about him playing. It’s ridiculous, he’s so underrated technically and he’s delivered in a big game with a massive game so I think it’s about time he gets respect.

“The first 35 minutes were tough, they were compact, tough to get through and really athletic. They got in a few times down the side, so we needed to get the first goal and when we did we would be in a good position.

“The goal was really well worked, when H drops deep, I know he can find anyone on the pitch so I had to time it right and I know when I get into those areas I’m confident the boys around are taking up brilliant positions.

“I think when you have that much quality in the team, you don’t have to work on it much but we get given patterns and try to follow them as best as we can and when we have players that we do, they can play on one touch, two touch. You can break them down and be free.”

Phil Foden explains why he does not wish to “big up” Jude Bellingham, despite his outstanding performance

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