England star Phil Foden admits Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi are ‘levels above him’ but Man City explains what he must do to reach elite level ahead of World Cup in Qatar

    Phil Foden admits Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo are all levels above him heading into the World Cup.

    But the Manchester City star is confident he will soon close the gap and knows what he needs to do to get there.

    Phil Foden is set to appear in his first-ever World Cup for the senior England squad

    Getty

    Phil Foden is set to appear in his first-ever World Cup for the senior England squad

    Foden is in Qatar as England gear up for their opening World Cup clash against Iran on Monday and is expected to feature as one of Gareth Southgate’s starting front three.

    The 22-year-old is gearing up for his first taste of World Cup action and says performing in the biggest games is what will elevate him to world class level.

    “Messi, Mbappe, Ronaldo – they are way above me at the moment,” said Foden. “But I like to think I could be there one day. I’ve got to score in big games and big finals to be world class.

    “But I know I’m capable of doing that so it’s something I strive for and look forward to.”

    The World Cup will provide Foden with his second shot at tournament football for the Three Lions after making three appearances at Euro 2020.

    Foden struck the post in England’s first game against Croatia and featured in the subsequent goalless draw with Scotland.

    Foden knows he must emulate Messi and Ronaldo by scoring goals in the biggest games to make the step up

    Foden knows he must emulate Messi and Ronaldo by scoring goals in the biggest games to make the step up

    Mbappe scored in the World Cup final for France against Croatia in 2018 aged just 19

    getty

    Mbappe scored in the World Cup final for France against Croatia in 2018 aged just 19

    But injury hampered his inclusion in the following three games before returnign to play 25 minutes in the semi-final victory over Denmark.

    Foden believes that if his effort had gone in against Croatia, his tournament would have taken a completely different turn.

    “The first game was very tight and I thought I did okay,” he added. “In the Scotland game I was one of our best players. But if it went in, it could have been a different tournament for me.

    “When you score, your confidence goes through the roof and you feel like you can do anything.”

    England win the World Cup: Phil Foden scores twice as Under-17s thrash Spain 5-2 in final

    Foden played a central role in helping England under-17’s lift the World Cup five-years ago

    The Stockport native also joked that his England teammates haven’t yet asked him about his star role in England winning the under-17 World Cup in 2017.

    “I don’t think they realise!” he said. “I’m going to have to tell them that I’ve already won the World Cup, aren’t I?”

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