Morgan Gibbs-White reveals he is the godfather to Phil Foden's kids – now he wants to emulate mate and play for England | The Sun

MORGAN GIBBS-WHITE revealed he is the godfather to Phil Foden’s children – and now he wants to emulate his great mate by becoming a senior England international.

Nottingham Forest star Gibbs-White first met Foden aged 16 and the pair won the Under-17 World Cup with England in 2017.

They would often room together and are still extremely close today, to the point where the Manchester City man asked Gibbs-White to be a godparent to his son and daughter.

Foden, 22, has racked up 22 caps for England, the latest of which came in Thursday’s 2-1 Euro qualifying win over Italy.

Gibbs-White, 23, was this week named England Under-21 captain but is yet to receive a senior call-up – though Gareth Southgate says he is keeping close tabs on the midfielder.

The Forest ace said: “It’s an honour I’ve even been mentioned and it shows I’m improving on the right path. I have to strive for more.


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“I’m still in touch with Phil, still really close. I’m godparent to his kids.  It just shows that anything is possible. I was in that Under-17 World Cup team so if those guys can do it, so can I.”

Jadon Sancho, Marc Guehi, Conor Gallagher, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Emile Smith Rowe were the other whizkids from that World Cup-winning Under-17 squad to go on to play for the senior team.

Foden is undoubtedly the pick of the bunch though and a character with whom Gibbs-White clicked instantly.

MGW explained: “We just had a good connection. I met him at 16, we just got on. 

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“We roomed together quite a bit. He’s always been a nice kid, Phil.

“He’s an unbelievable player. He’d play Fortnite until one or two o’clock in the morning every night! Every night. 

“I’d tell him that if he scored the next day then he could stay on it for another couple of hours!”

Foden’s missus Rebecca Cooke is also very close to Gibbs-White’s girlfriend, Britney De Villiers.

The christening is still yet to take place though because of the hectic football schedule.

Steve Cooper was the manager in charge of that amazing England Under-17 side that triumphed in India.

And it was the Welshman, now at helm at Forest, who signed Gibbs-White for a whopping £42.5million from Wolves in the summer.

Back then, the fee was all anyone would talk about when discussing Gibbs-White.

But it is testament to his fine season, in which he has scored three goals and grabbed six assists in the Premier League, that his hefty price tag is less of a debating point now. 

Yet the playmaker never felt any pressure at all by how much Forest shelled out on him – and certainly nothing compared to the heat on the team as they battle for survival.

He said: “It wasn’t me who paid the price! I enjoyed it. It meant more eyes were on me. 

“I could show myself more. It wasn’t a pressure thing. 

“The focus was on the price tag and I had to prove people wrong in a sense. You thrive off that situation. You want to prove people wrong and impress.

“(The battle to stay up) – that is pressure. There are so many good teams down there."

Forest are winless in their last six league games, losing four of them, and are just two points above the relegation zone.

But there is no doubt in Gibbs-White mind that the Tricky Trees will retain the top-flight status they took 23 years to earn by avoiding the drop.

He said: “One hundred per cent I’m confident we’ll stay up. We’ve proven that in games. We drew 1-1 with Man City. We need to be more consistent.”

On Saturday though, Gibbs-White turns his attention to captaining his country for the first time ever.

Despite representing England at nearly every level from Under-16s, the Stafford lad has never actually worn the armband for his nation.

But that will change on Saturday afternoon when he leads the England Under-21s out for their friendly against France at Leicester’s King Power Stadium.

He commented: “It was a surprise to be given it. It’ll be the first time I’ve captained an England side. 

“It’s an honour to receive a call-up and when Lee Carsley told me that I was captain it was a really special feeling. It shows I’ve been doing well at club level and he sees me as a leader in the group. I think I’m the oldest one here so that is why!”

Southgate’s recent comments suggest it will not be long until Gibbs-White does make that senior step.

It would be a reward, just as captaining his country will be, for putting everything he’s got into his career and holding nothing back.

That mentality is reflected by the words he had tattoed on his right hand last summer which read: “Why save the food stuff for later?”

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Gibbs-White added: “It is just, ‘why say no? Why not do the good stuff now and regret it later?’ I never wanted to regret anything in the future.”

Good advice to pass onto his godchildren, no doubt – and to help keep Forest up.

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