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Phil Foden deserves huge credit for brilliant Dortmund display days after a close friend died

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phil foden deserves huge credit for brilliant dortmund display days after a close friend died

Phil Foden took a quiet moment of reflection, just on his own, lifting his head toward the Manchester sky. That one, arguably the biggest goal of his career, was for a friend.

The past week has been devastating for Foden, left heartbroken when his lawyer, Richard Green, passed away last Thursday.

Green – an effervescent personality, a titan of the North West’s football community – had such a profound effect on Foden’s career that he was considered family.

Phil Foden scored the winner against Borussia Dortmund in a brilliant display on Tuesday night

Phil Foden scored the winner against Borussia Dortmund in a brilliant display on Tuesday night

Phil Foden scored the winner against Borussia Dortmund in a brilliant display on Tuesday night

Foden (left pictured with his dad and mother) was devastated by the death of his lawyer Richard Green (right) in the build-up to the Champions League quarter-final clash

Foden (left pictured with his dad and mother) was devastated by the death of his lawyer Richard Green (right) in the build-up to the Champions League quarter-final clash

Foden (left pictured with his dad and mother) was devastated by the death of his lawyer Richard Green (right) in the build-up to the Champions League quarter-final clash

He had been there from the very start, travelling across Europe to watch him for Manchester City and England’s age group teams. He was there when Foden lifted the Under-17 World Cup out in India four years ago.

So when Foden tweeted last week that he will ‘do everything I can to make you proud,’ it was sent with a real depth in feeling. Tuesday night, the last-minute winner against Borussia Dortmund in a Champions League quarter-final, was a poignant start.

Ilkay Gundogan embraced the 20-year-old in celebration, Foden hugging tightly while staring straight ahead, his expression telling a thousand stories. That he turned in a performance of such high quality and perseverance is to his immense credit.

‘That goal was for you, Richard,’ he said afterwards. Foden made sure he sorted out a shirt with a message for his mentor, someone whose passing was marked with tributes by Kenny Dalglish, Jamie Carragher and Rafa Benitez among countless others.

Foden's celebration told a thousand stories and he later dedicated the goal to Green

Foden's celebration told a thousand stories and he later dedicated the goal to Green

Foden’s celebration told a thousand stories and he later dedicated the goal to Green

His late winner capped off a fine performance and puts City in the driving seat in the tie

His late winner capped off a fine performance and puts City in the driving seat in the tie

His late winner capped off a fine performance and puts City in the driving seat in the tie

Green was more than an advisor to the midfielder and his parents and – even though Foden’s career remains in its infancy – there have been some hugely endearing moments over the years.

Perhaps the one held most dearly by Green himself came after a particularly significant game. Foden and his mother, Claire, were at the doors to a post-match function when security declared that ‘only family’ were permitted inside. 

The pair of them decided against attending, spinning on their heels. No chance they were heading in without him. They spent the evening elsewhere instead as a group.

Green told that story with immense pride. He told every story about Foden with pride. He loved him greatly and that was reciprocated. 

Green died aged 56, leaving behind a wife and three children. Four if you include the young man from Stockport with the world at his feet.

Green was family to Foden and was in India in 2017 when he won the Under-17 World Cup

Green was family to Foden and was in India in 2017 when he won the Under-17 World Cup

Green was family to Foden and was in India in 2017 when he won the Under-17 World Cup

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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