Fernandinho has lavished praise on Manchester City teammate Phil Foden and says is it ‘hard to find’ players of the midfielder’s quality.
Foden has enjoyed an outstanding season for Pep Guardiola’s side and is expected to start tomorrow’s Champions League final with Chelsea, the Stockport-born midfielder having become increasingly influential this term.
The 21-year-old has scored 16 goals and provided a further eight assists across all competitions, playing a key role in the club’s Premier League and League Cup successes, in addition to reaching tomorrow’s European showpiece.
Fernandinho says he is unsurprised by the levels Foden has reached during the current campaign, hailing the academy graduate who he says has become ‘one of the most important players’ in the Man City squad.
“Its no surprise at all. Foden has trained with us almost five years,” he told a pre-match press conference.
“He grew up so much and the quality he has is hard to find in other players. The desire he has to play good football is incredible.
“He grew up so much in this competition this season, especially getting more minutes. He kept his head down and his feet on the ground and that’s one of the reason he’s at the level he’s at now.
“You have to understand your team-mates. The movements they make, when you have to pass the ball, when you have to drive the ball. He learned so much in the past years and that’s one of the seasons he became one of the most important players in this squad.”
Fernandinho could become the first Brazilian to captain a Champions League-winning side this weekend, with the midfielder hopeful of making his own unique history.
“To win the Champions League is a big accomplishment,” he said. “As a Brazilian to lift the trophy is a proud moment for everyone.
“I hope we can do well during the game, play good and after enjoy this moment. It’s going to be one of the proudest moments of my life.”