Phil Foden believes previous success with England’s youth teams and at Club level have made him better equipped for the demands of Euro 2020.
The City midfielder was awarded the Golden Ball, given to the tournament’s best player, as England were crowned winners of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup back in 2017.
Still just 21, his nascent City career has already yielded an astonishing eight major trophies, with his tactical maturity and winning mentality belying his young age.
Looking back at that World Cup success, Foden believes it was the perfect testing ground for him to learn how to perform on the biggest stage in future.
“That moment playing in the final against Spain with a full stadium definitely helps for when you come into these big tournaments,” he reflected.
“You get used to the fans early on and know what it’s about.
“It makes us who we are, just loving the game [since we were] young.”
A date with Oleks Zinchenko’s Ukraine in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals on Saturday is England’s reward for victory over Germany in the last 16.
Goals from City winger Raheem Sterling and skipper Harry Kane were enough to see the Three Lions progress, with Gareth Southgate’s side putting on a mature performance despite their tender years.
Indeed, only Spain and Turkey have a lower average age among their 26-man rosters, but Foden insists that age is just a number in comparison to big game experience.
He believes that the potential jitters that the largest occasions can bring are few and far between due to the majority of the squad competing for the game’s biggest honours at club level.
“It’s not just me, the other younger lads have so much still to learn, and playing in these big games is only going to help us progress,” Foden pointed out.
“We might be a young squad but we have so much experience.
“A lot of the lads have played in big Champions League games and in the Premier League so I think that helps us to have no fear going into the games.”