Manchester City defender Joel Latibeaudiere joined an elite list of players to raise a trophy as England captain as the Young Lions won the Under-17 World Cup on Saturday – but he wants to be remembered for more.
England came from two goals behind to beat Spain 5-2 and win their first-ever World Cup at this level as Rhian Brewster and Phil Foden shone throughout the competition in India.
That continued into Saturday’s final in Kolkata as Brewster dragged England back into the game after a Sergio Gomez brace had put Spain in charge.
Morgan Gibbs White levelled for Paul Cooper’s side before Foden struck twice – either side of Marc Guehi’s effort – to seal a memorable win for the Under-17s.
It follows tournament success for England at the Under-20 World Cup and the Under-19 European Championships, while this Under-17 side went one step further than the summer where they lost their own European Championship final to Spain.
As with those earlier successes, focus has now shifted onto the future of these bright talents and whether they will get the chance to make an impact at their club sides.
Unlike Foden, Latibeaudiere is yet to feature in the Manchester City senior side but he does not want his success to begin and end with victory in India.
“Nothing changes even though we have won the World Cup,” he told Press Association Sport. “We have to keep working hard, improving and getting better.
“It’s really important that this is just the start of things. But if you look at the Premier League there are so many young English players getting their chance now. We are seeing the future of England being produced. It’s encouraging.
“Nobody wants to be forgotten, but it’s so exciting to be a part of a team that can hopefully go on together and a few years down the line hopefully this group can achieve something.
“At City senior level the standard is so high. The manager knows when the right time is to put his youth players in. Phil’s time will come, Pep’s a great judge of knowing when it’s right to do so.”
Cooper revealed he had spoken to England senior boss Gareth Southgate throughout the tournament and does not want to see expectations of his World Cup winners balloon now they have returned victorious.
“It is really important not to let the pressure build,” he said. “There is still a long way to go with the national teams and I’m sure the clubs will be saying the same.
“The moment they take their eye off the ball is the moment their development will stop – but they are good lads.”
The team arrived back at Heathrow laden with gold – Manchester United youngster Angel Gomes carried the trophy while all the players and staff sported gold medals, Foden clung to his golden ball award for player of the tournament and Liverpool’s Brewster held both the golden boot for ending as top goalscorer and the bronze ball prize as family and friends greeted the squad at Terminal 4.
Source: By PA Sport Staff
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