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Guardiola overlooks Messi & Xavi in naming Foden ‘the most talented player I have ever seen’

17:06 GMT+3 26/07/2019
Phil Foden Manchester City 2018-19
The City boss has coached some superstar performers at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but sees more potential in a current charge

Pep Guardiola has worked with the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Robert Lewandowski in the past, but considers Manchester City starlet Phil Foden to be “the most talented player I have ever seen”.

The Catalan has coached some of the finest performers on the planet across spells at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City.

He also formed part of some iconic sides in his playing days, as he represented Barca with distinction during the reign of the legendary Johan Cruyff.

Guardiola is, however, adamant that an emerging star on his books at the Etihad Stadium is the most exciting he has had the pleasure of partnering or managing .

The Blues boss told reporters of 19-year-old midfielder Foden: "I said many times in press conferences, but maybe not in front of him - he is the most talented player I have ever seen as a football player or manager" said the coach.

"He has everything to become one of the best players, not just in England.

"His only problem is that sometimes his manager doesn’t put him in the starting XI.

"Hopefully in the future he can improve. He deserves all the minutes but he knows what team he plays for and with his competitors it isn't easy.

"But he is open-minded and he works incredibly hard in every training session. He knows I appreciate him. I’m here to help him as much as possible to become what he is and I am pretty sure both of us will get it."

The appreciation between Guardiola and Foden is mutual, with the youngster having said of the experience he is gaining with the Premier League champions and their highly-rated boss:

“I am lucky to be part of it. It is a special team. The success comes from the depth of the squad.”

He added on the man at the helm: “He works us very hard in training and you can tell by what we do on the pitch he wants the best from us.

“That will only help us play better.”

Guardiola handed Foden 10 appearances in 2017-18, as he made his senior breakthrough with City.

A further 26 outings were taken in last term, with an England U21 international opening his goal account as he netted seven times across all competitions.