Phil Foden has discussed the ‘pressure’ of playing for England and his striking new Gazza-esque haircut ahead of this summer’s European Championship.
England begin their Euro 2020 campaign this weekend when the Three Lions face Croatia at Wembley on Sunday, with Gareth Southgate’s side starting amongst the favourites following the emergence of a new generation of talent.
Foden is amongst the young players who have sparked cautious optimism ahead of the tournament, with the Manchester City midfielder discussing the quality within England’s ranks and the confidence the squad have heading into the finals.
“I just want to say the quality is very high,” he told a press conference. “Yes, we have a lot of young players but they can play at the highest level and we’ve seen that this year.
“Of course, we have the experience of Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson around the team too which is important. I think we have a great balance. I think we’ll look really strong in this tournament and why not? We could win it.”
England’s modern history is littered with tournament disappointments as sides have fallen under a weight of expectation, though Foden insists he does not ‘feel pressure’ as he prepares for his first major tournament with the senior national side.
The 21-year-old believes the performances of several squad members at club level this season prove that England have the players capable of making an impression in the latter stages.
“I don’t feel pressure. I feel excited,” he said. “It’s my first time at a major tournament with England. I’m excited to see what happens and what the future holds.
“We have looked at previous times together as a team. We feel really confident. Obviously the likes of me, Mason [Mount], Reece [James] and Raz [Raheem Sterling] have made the Champions League final so we’ve all been playing at a great standard this year. I believe as a group we can really push on to win it.”
Foden also discussed the new haircut he will be sporting at this summer’s finals, having made the news for his Paul Gascoigne-esque style, his blonde cut resemblant of the former England midfielder’s bleached barnet at Euro ’96.
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) June 8, 2021
“First of all I’ve had the same haircut for ages so I wanted something new,” he said. “I woke up this morning to all the comparisons to Gazza and Eminem. It was my own thing! It’s all been positives. I’m surprised about that.
“I remember watching highlights on TV of Gazza. I know what it means for the country. It wouldn’t be too bad if I tried to bring a bit of Gazza on the pitch.”