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England World Cup starlets can reach big time, says Foden

London (AFP) – England teenage star Phil Foden believes every member of the Under-17 World Cup-winning squad has what it takes to succeed in the professional game.

England came from two goals down to beat Spain 5-2 on Saturday in Kolkata and win their first-ever World Cup at this level as Manchester City youngster Foden scored a brace.

It follows tournament success for England at the Under-20 World Cup and the Under-19 European Championship, while the Under-17s side went one step further than earlier this year when they lost their own European Championship final to Spain.

Focus has now shifted to whether the players, who arrived back in Britain on Monday, will get the chance to make an impact at their club sides.

Foden, 17, featured in the City first team during a pre-season friendly — receiving glowing praise from manager Pep Guardiola — and feels his compatriots are all good enough to make the grade.

“We’re still young at the end of the day,” he said. “Just be patient and keep playing your football, and hopefully you will get the opportunity.

“I believe that everyone can push through the ranks. There is a lot of quality in the team. Everyone, even on the bench, everyone. We just need to believe and prove that we can make it.

“It’s going to be hard, don’t get me wrong. But I think everyone will find their level and a club. Everyone will make it eventually, just maybe not at the club that they want to.”

Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster, 17, said: “We’ve just got to try to keep our heads down, work hard and get back to club football and not be big-time.” 

“The Under-20s winning was a big achievement and that pushed us,” he added. “Just before that, we had lost in the Euros in the final. We were disappointed with that and to come back and beat Spain 5-2 in the final was amazing.

“To come back as world champions. At the time I remember saying to all of my team-mates after that final (at the Euros), ‘Watch, we’ve lost to Spain but just watch, we’ll come back and win the World Cup’. And we did it.”

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