Man City chief claims star performer is ‘like an animal’

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Txiki Begiristain was speaking at the Football Writers’ Association annual dinner.

Director of Football Txiki Begiristain has said Phil Foden has won trophies ‘like an animal’ after the Manchester City midfielder collected the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year award.

It was announced two weeks ago that the England international, who has scored 25 goals this season, was voted as the winner, and he was presented with his award this week. Foden didn’t attend the annual dinner when the prizes were handed out, but Begiristain was in attendance and said Foden has plenty more years to come at the top.

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“His progression has been unbelievable,” reflected the City chief, as per the club’s website. “He is 23 and I would say he is getting to the top.

“Phil has always played in the fastest way. I think he is now getting the maturity of when he has to accelerate the game and when to play more calm and composed and to keep possession.

“He is maturing on that. He is 23 years old and he has won trophies like an animal.”

City’s no.47 could win a sixth Premier League title this weekend when City face West Ham United in the final day of the 2023/24 campaign, and a win will secure a record-breaking fourth successive league triumph.

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It’s a particularly impressive achievement for Foden, a boyhood blue who came through the club’s youth ranks and will be one of England’s star names at this summer’s European Championships.

“He is a good example for us. We try to convince the other players to follow him,” Begiristain said.

“Of course it’s an award for him and his team-mates but I think this is a special award for Manchester City’s academy. He represents all that. A player who loves football, is from Stockport and is enjoying and being professional and adapting himself to the way we want to play.

“He is the first to go on the pitch, the last one going out,” added the former Barcelona director of football. “Sometimes we have to tell him [to stop training].

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“Because of the players we have and the team, he has been sacrificing himself for the team by playing in wide areas. He is already asking to play more central. To have a player who can play wide and is performing and producing his best is a privilege for us.”

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