Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger have both congratulated England’s U17s on winning the World Cup, marking it as a great step forward for English football.
Manchester City boss Guardiola’s own youngster Phil Foden scored twice as the young lions came back from 2-0 down to beat Spain 5-2 in the final in Kolkata, India, on Saturday.
It comes just a few months after England’s U20s won their World Cup in the summer and Guardiola believes the experience Foden has gained from winning the competition will be important for both his and England’s future.
“What position did he play? Because when he comes back I am going to put him in this position,” Guardiola joked after City won 3-2 at West Brom.
“It is so important for Manchester City, for him, for everybody, that he played at a high, high level in that competition. We cannot forget that he played at a World Cup, so England will be world champions at that age.
“When that guy grows and plays in a World Cup in the future, he has lived that situation before and knows what he has to do. That is (good) for English football.
“To the manager, all the staff and all the players; a big, big congratulations because they need that. The U21s, the first team achieved the last rounds once and, when that happens, English football will have a step they need.”
After his side beat Swansea, Arsenal boss Wenger said: “I am so happy because I am here for 20 years and we didn’t do so well with the youngsters.
“They won the U17s today, the U20s (earlier in the year), and it shows that, since they have restructured the academy work and dedicated to that, you have the results.
“For once we all have the opportunity to congratulate the FA – and it has not happened a lot.”