The Three Lions playmaker was dropped because of discipline issues in September, but bounced back to get his first international goals
England talent Phil Foden was delighted to produce his breakout international performance against Iceland after going through ‘one of the hardest moments’ in his life when he was dropped from the Three Lions in September.
The 20-year-old scored twice late in the match – his first international goals – while also providing the assist for Declan Rice’s opener as England trounced their Nordic opponents 4-0 at Wembley on Wednesday evening.
Foden was making his first England start since he was axed from the Three Lions squad, along with Mason Greenwoood, after the duo broke Covid-19 rules by inviting girls back to their hotel in Reykjavik.
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The Manchester City playmaker was delighted to put the past behind him and revealed his determination to make up for his mistake and earn back the trust of his team-mates.
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“It was one of the hardest moments of my life,” Foden told Sky Sports.
“That’s the time you need the trust of your manager and Gareth had a lot of respect for me and it means everything to me. I just wanted to repay him with goals and do well.
“I was just determined to come back and do the best I can. I was a little bit nervous at the start of this camp but I got used to it after a while.”
Despite England already being eliminated from the Nations League, Foden was a man on a mission and his pinpoint free kick was deftly headed home by Declan Rice – his first international goal – for the Three Lions’ opener.
Mason Mount doubled England’s advantage four minutes later but it was Foden who took centre stage with a brilliant second-half performance.
The Stockport-born talent clinically swept home Jadon Sancho’s cut-back in the 80th minute before securing his brace shortly after with a thumping strike into the bottom-right corner.
“It’s up there with one of the best games and it means a lot to me,” Foden said. “I just couldn’t stop smiling after my goal, it’s an unbelievable feeling and I’m just going to try and enjoy it as much as I can.
“I know Jadon [Sancho] well enough, I played with him in the youth team and when I arrived in the box he gave me a good assist and luckily it went in.
“When you score your confidence is high but it’s something I need to work on – scoring more goals from outside the box.”