Soccer-Foden, England aim to bring joy to fans at Euros

Premier League - Manchester City Victory Parade

(Reuters) - Midfielder Phil Foden said England have been gradually improving as a team and that they are hoping to give their supporters a "once-in-a-lifetime" feeling by winning the European Championship in Germany.

Under Gareth Southgate, England reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup, as well as making it to the Euro 2020 final, where they lost to Italy.

"It's just nice to see that we can compete against the top nations and reach those latter stages of tournaments. In the past, England teams struggled to do it," Foden told the Daily Mail in an interview published on Saturday.

"Gareth's been building for a bit now and we're stepping ahead in the right direction.

"Playing now, you get goose bumps. That full stadium roar. The national anthem. It's something you always saw as a kid growing up knowing you want to be an England player. It's a feeling I'd love for people to have, that once-in-a-lifetime thing."

Foden, who enjoyed a positive campaign with Manchester City and was crowned the Premier League's player of the season, will be one of the first names on Southgate's team sheet.

England also have a capable deputy for the 24-year-old in the shape of Chelsea's Cole Palmer, who was named the Premier League's young player of the season after joining the London club from City last year.

"The players on the bench are just as good and the squad is one of the best I've seen for a long time," Foden said of his former club team mate.

"All of these players are in form. If we're going to win anything you need these guys fighting for the shirt, coming off the bench making a difference.

"I always knew (Palmer) would have a brilliant career. You can see it straight away when you've got a top player."

England play two friendlies - against Bosnia on June 3 at St. James' Park and Iceland on June 7 at Wembley - before heading to the Euros, where they are in a group with Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue)