Phil Foden was famously described by Pep Guardiola as “the most talented player” he has ever seen during a press conference in the summer of 2019.
"He has everything to become one of the best players," the Manchester City boss commented. "I have said many times in press conferences, but maybe not said it in front of him, Phil is the most, most, most talented player I have ever seen in my career as a manager.”
Fast-forward almost two years and Foden is now one of the first names on Guardiola’s teamsheet.
The England international, who turns 21 in May, has been in scintillating form this season.
In 45 appearances for the Citizens, the gifted midfielder has scored 14 goals and provided nine assists for his teammates.
Foden is on course to win his third Premier League winners’ medal and lifted the League Cup for the fourth time last weekend.
He also impressed during City’s 2-1 victory away at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday night and will now be focused on ensuring his boyhood club reach the final for the first time in their history.
Foden joined City in 2009, aged eight years old, and was already a huge fan of the club when he signed.
Born and raised in Stockport, Foden honed his skills on his town’s streets.
Up to a couple of years ago, he was still humiliating his mates while surrounded by parked cars, as this brilliant footage shows…
He was even nutmegging random people on the streets…
And this great little clip shows Foden bossing a bunch of kids on a local playing field…
His incredible ability and huge love for football was obvious from a very early age.
"It's brilliant to see him doing so well - he has been for a while now," Swansea City head coach Steve Cooper, who worked with Foden at England U17 level, told Sky Sports in February. "He's a fantastic talent, brilliant lad, and it's lovely to see him showcasing it at the highest level.
"For the guys that have worked with him, it's not a surprise to see him doing so well because he is a super talent. At the moment, Phil is getting a particular amount of attention and rightly so.
"He's a good lad, he loves football and always has a ball at his feet.
"Whether he is in his hotel room, in the corridor or out on the training pitch you very rarely see him without a ball, or messing about with something he can play football with."
It’s that insatiable appetite for football that has led Foden to where he is today.
(Credit: The Football Terrace)