The real Phil Foden: A Panini sticker obsessive powered by wild salmon and legs like pistons

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May 8, 2002
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Phil Foden’s girlfriend is chuckling away as she explains the lengths to which she is going to help the Manchester City and England midfielder complete his beloved Panini Premier League 2021 official sticker album. “He’s obsessed with these stickers at the moment,” says Becca Cooke. “We’d been to the zoo this week and I popped into Morrison’s on the way home and had to ring him because I saw they had a big box of stickers there. We’ll be driving along and he’s like, ‘Stop, they sell stickers there. Go on Bec, can you nip into that shop and get me every pack they’ve got. I don’t want them to know it’s me’.” Foden is one sticker short of a full collection - and the irony is that the elusive card in question is of himself. “Me and his dad FaceTimed him when he was away with England last month and he’s sat there in his room doing his sticker books,” Foden’s mum, Claire, says. “I think he’s got about four on the go. Panini, Match Attax. It’s hysterical. It’s a good thing, don’t get me wrong, but that’s how obsessed he is about football.” There is a rather more impressive collection that Foden will hope to add to on Sunday. Victory over Tottenham in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley would represent Foden’s seventh major trophy before the age of 21 and it may not be the only silverware he ends up with this season. Another goal and another man-of-the-match display in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa moved City a step closer to a third Premier League title in four seasons and, next week, Pep Guardiola’s side face Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. Foden, of course, had scored the winning goal in both legs of their quarter-final victory over Borussia Dortmund when he comprehensively upstaged another prodigiously talented 20 year-old, Erling Haaland. “I’m the one who was supposed to score the goals,” Haaland joked, as the pair chatted at the final whistle.

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