Pep Guardiola compares Phil Foden to Lionel Messi

Manchester City news- City boss Pep Guardiola, witnessing Phil Foden’s spectacular performance, draws parallel with Lionel Messi; reckons him as the best in the league

Phil Foden compared to Lionel Messi by Pep Guardiola
Phil Foden compared to Lionel Messi by Pep Guardiola / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Reigning champions Manchester City registered a thrilling comeback against arch-rivals Manchester United on Sunday to register a 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium and maintain their challenge to secure their fourth consecutive Premier League title, with Liverpool and Arsenal also in contention this season.

In the stunning display during the Manchester derby, Phil Foden stood out with his exceptional skill-set and decision-making prowess that led the City attack.

Foden not only secured the victory for City with a brace but also earned high praise from manager Pep Guardiola. The Catalan tactician compared the Englishman’s game-winning expertise to none other than Lionel Messi.

He hailed Foden as the best player in the English top flight.

As the 23-year-old’s individual competency scales to new levels, Guardiola highlighted on his potential to change the course of a match, likened to the indomitable young Messi.

Guardiola said:

"The good players, you can play good - but you have to win games, and I met the biggest ever player like Messi."

"He can win games and I don't want to compare because Phil is not the level from Leo but he is winning games."

Guardiola has stated in the past that Foden can perfect his game by acquiring the ability to slow matches down, when needed, while also focusing on the defensive responsibilities.

His progress throughout the entirety of this term signifies Foden is on the correct trajectory, amassing 18 goals in 39 outings to date.

Foden came to know of City boss’ compliment, to which he replied:

"No way? You can't compare anyone to Messi he is in his own world but to hear that from the manager is really nice."

The Manchester City star has made 257 senior appearances – one ahead of Messi at the same age, however, the Argentine ace outlasts him in terms of minutes, which equates to 40 more matches.

Foden struggled with form and fitness last season, hence, he could only play a supporting role in the treble-winning campaign. However, extra training and prioritizing fitness have garnered results as he has escalated to being one of the key players for the team.

Speaking on his development and celebration, Foden added:

"I think I've just grown as a player. It's basically a joke from the lads - they say that I shoot a lot in training, and they call me the sniper."

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