Phil Foden has thanked England manager Gareth Southgate for keeping him in his plans despite last September's Iceland hotel shame.
The Manchester City star is one of England's brightest attacking talents heading into this summer's delayed Euro 2020 tournament, which finally gets underway at the weekend.
But things could have turned out very differently for Foden had Southgate held more of a grudge over the incident that led to him and Manchester United youngster Mason Greenwood being sent home from England duty early.
Foden and Greenwood sparked controversy after making their international debuts away at Iceland back in September, when they breached strict Covid-19 protocols by inviting two local women into the team hotel.
Southgate lambasted the pair at the time and said: "They have been naive and we have dealt with it appropriately."
Fortunately for Foden, the England boss did not hold that scandal against him.
After bringing him back into the fold two months later, the 21-year-old has cemented his place in the squad and will now play a key part at Euro 2020 this summer.
And Foden has heaped praise on Southgate for being so understanding, saying this week: "I made a massive mistake, but Gareth said if I keep doing well and performing I should get another opportunity.
"I had to work hard for it but there are not many managers who would give you another opportunity, so I have to thank Gareth a lot for giving me another chance.
"Gareth is great. He talks to everyone. He lets you know how he is feeling about you and where you can improve.
"I've had a couple of conversations with him. He's always putting his arm around players, which is important."
Foden has just enjoyed his most fruitful season in a City shirt, scoring 16 goals in 50 appearances and winning another Premier League title.
He also reached the Champions League final, only to suffer defeat against Chelsea in Porto a few weeks back.
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"I feel the best way to forget about what happened [in the final] is to play your football," Foden said.
"So when I got back on the training pitch with the guys, I straight away forgot about it. I'm just focusing on England now and what's going on here."
READ MORE:Paul Gascoigne follows Phil Foden and dyes hair blond to recreate iconic Euro 96 haircut
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