Interview

Game face

Kyle Walker can’t wait for kick-off on Saturday. Here the Manchester City defender discusses preparations, Phil Foden and his dad pecking his ear off

What are you most looking forward to?

Lifting the trophy. But it’s a game of football and it’s against a very good team, so what will be will be. But when you hear the music and you’re walking out, then you’re walking past the Champions League trophy for the first time… I’ve never seen it up close so I’ll take a good look and, hopefully, I’ll be holding it come the end of the game.

How will playing Chelsea affect your preparations?

No disrespect, we played Newport County [in the 2018/19 FA Cup] and we prepared just the same as if we were going to play Liverpool at Anfield. The manager’s detailed, the manager gets his ideas across to us as much as he can, and we go out and try to execute them as best as we can. But, obviously, knowing Chelsea and playing them as many times as we have, it’s going to be a little bit, we’ll say, easier. But I think it comes down to big players in big moments. Hopefully we have enough of those players. 

Do you remember the first Champions League final you ever watched, growing up?

The one I probably remember the most is when Liverpool made the comeback [in 2005]. I don’t know, it just felt so surreal when I was watching it. As a fan – well not as a fan, as a football fan – watching it, it was something really special.

If you weren’t playing in the final, which two people would you want to watch it with?

I think two people is a little bit unfair – I’ve got more friends than two people! I’d say my mum, but my mum doesn’t have a clue about football so I couldn’t really pick her. Then my dad would be just pecking my ear off, so I probably wouldn’t sit next to him for a full 90 minutes. I think I’d just have to say my friends, my two best friends, Joel and Ash. I know we’d have a really good time and have a few beers while we’re watching it.

Was there a pivotal moment on the way to Saturday’s game?

It’s got to be, probably, the Dortmund tie. We played against Liverpool, we played against Tottenham and we could never get over that quarter-final stage. So to finally do that there, there was a lot of emotion that came out in the dressing room after, I can assure you of that. Just that we’d finally done it. And I really enjoyed the PSG game. To play against the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, a couple of the best players in the world, was a great test for me.

Kyle Walker is ready for the final (top); The defender tackles Neymar during the semi-final second leg (above)

Who has been the best young player in the Champions League this season?

Jude Bellingham’s been very good; when we played them, I thought he was excellent. But I’d have to say Phil [Foden]. I’d have to say Phil just because he’s my team-mate and how he plays the game of football – it’s a joy to watch. 

What has been the most dramatic moment in this season’s competition?

When Jude scored the goal in Germany, I kind of looked around and thought to myself, “Not again! Not again! Not at this stage can we go out again.” And I’m sure people in the dressing room would be lying if they said that they didn’t feel that as well. So for us that was probably the most dramatic, but we showed great character and great resilience – togetherness – to get through that.

What does it mean to you to be in the final?

It’s everything. I didn’t play Champions League football until I was 26, which is not old, but people are playing – your Phil Fodens, your Judes, your Jadon Sanchos – a lot earlier now. So for me to finally get to a final, it’s a great achievement.

And what does it mean to Manchester City to be in the final?

It’s massive, it’s massive. The fans have had it good over the last number of years, where we’ve been able to deliver a lot of trophies. But, you know, having the neighbours across the road that they’ve had all their lives in Manchester United, it’s always going to be tough. So to get into a Champions League final, we’re in it to win it now. It’s one game of football and, hopefully, we can really catapult this club to where it wants to be.  

How would a win crown this season?

It’s the one trophy I’m missing. Since I’ve been here I’ve managed to pick up everything that I’ve been involved in, bar the Champions League. But it’s going to be tough – I don’t want to sit here and sound cocky or anything like that. It’s going to be a really, really tough game. Chelsea are good opponents. Though they’ve had the upper hand on us a few times this season so we do owe them one…

What are you most looking forward to?

Lifting the trophy. But it’s a game of football and it’s against a very good team, so what will be will be. But when you hear the music and you’re walking out, then you’re walking past the Champions League trophy for the first time… I’ve never seen it up close so I’ll take a good look and, hopefully, I’ll be holding it come the end of the game.

How will playing Chelsea affect your preparations?

No disrespect, we played Newport County [in the 2018/19 FA Cup] and we prepared just the same as if we were going to play Liverpool at Anfield. The manager’s detailed, the manager gets his ideas across to us as much as he can, and we go out and try to execute them as best as we can. But, obviously, knowing Chelsea and playing them as many times as we have, it’s going to be a little bit, we’ll say, easier. But I think it comes down to big players in big moments. Hopefully we have enough of those players. 

Do you remember the first Champions League final you ever watched, growing up?

The one I probably remember the most is when Liverpool made the comeback [in 2005]. I don’t know, it just felt so surreal when I was watching it. As a fan – well not as a fan, as a football fan – watching it, it was something really special.

If you weren’t playing in the final, which two people would you want to watch it with?

I think two people is a little bit unfair – I’ve got more friends than two people! I’d say my mum, but my mum doesn’t have a clue about football so I couldn’t really pick her. Then my dad would be just pecking my ear off, so I probably wouldn’t sit next to him for a full 90 minutes. I think I’d just have to say my friends, my two best friends, Joel and Ash. I know we’d have a really good time and have a few beers while we’re watching it.

Was there a pivotal moment on the way to Saturday’s game?

It’s got to be, probably, the Dortmund tie. We played against Liverpool, we played against Tottenham and we could never get over that quarter-final stage. So to finally do that there, there was a lot of emotion that came out in the dressing room after, I can assure you of that. Just that we’d finally done it. And I really enjoyed the PSG game. To play against the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, a couple of the best players in the world, was a great test for me.

Kyle Walker is ready for the final (top); The defender tackles Neymar during the semi-final second leg (above)

Who has been the best young player in the Champions League this season?

Jude Bellingham’s been very good; when we played them, I thought he was excellent. But I’d have to say Phil [Foden]. I’d have to say Phil just because he’s my team-mate and how he plays the game of football – it’s a joy to watch. 

What has been the most dramatic moment in this season’s competition?

When Jude scored the goal in Germany, I kind of looked around and thought to myself, “Not again! Not again! Not at this stage can we go out again.” And I’m sure people in the dressing room would be lying if they said that they didn’t feel that as well. So for us that was probably the most dramatic, but we showed great character and great resilience – togetherness – to get through that.

What does it mean to you to be in the final?

It’s everything. I didn’t play Champions League football until I was 26, which is not old, but people are playing – your Phil Fodens, your Judes, your Jadon Sanchos – a lot earlier now. So for me to finally get to a final, it’s a great achievement.

And what does it mean to Manchester City to be in the final?

It’s massive, it’s massive. The fans have had it good over the last number of years, where we’ve been able to deliver a lot of trophies. But, you know, having the neighbours across the road that they’ve had all their lives in Manchester United, it’s always going to be tough. So to get into a Champions League final, we’re in it to win it now. It’s one game of football and, hopefully, we can really catapult this club to where it wants to be.  

How would a win crown this season?

It’s the one trophy I’m missing. Since I’ve been here I’ve managed to pick up everything that I’ve been involved in, bar the Champions League. But it’s going to be tough – I don’t want to sit here and sound cocky or anything like that. It’s going to be a really, really tough game. Chelsea are good opponents. Though they’ve had the upper hand on us a few times this season so we do owe them one…

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

What are you most looking forward to?

Lifting the trophy. But it’s a game of football and it’s against a very good team, so what will be will be. But when you hear the music and you’re walking out, then you’re walking past the Champions League trophy for the first time… I’ve never seen it up close so I’ll take a good look and, hopefully, I’ll be holding it come the end of the game.

How will playing Chelsea affect your preparations?

No disrespect, we played Newport County [in the 2018/19 FA Cup] and we prepared just the same as if we were going to play Liverpool at Anfield. The manager’s detailed, the manager gets his ideas across to us as much as he can, and we go out and try to execute them as best as we can. But, obviously, knowing Chelsea and playing them as many times as we have, it’s going to be a little bit, we’ll say, easier. But I think it comes down to big players in big moments. Hopefully we have enough of those players. 

Do you remember the first Champions League final you ever watched, growing up?

The one I probably remember the most is when Liverpool made the comeback [in 2005]. I don’t know, it just felt so surreal when I was watching it. As a fan – well not as a fan, as a football fan – watching it, it was something really special.

If you weren’t playing in the final, which two people would you want to watch it with?

I think two people is a little bit unfair – I’ve got more friends than two people! I’d say my mum, but my mum doesn’t have a clue about football so I couldn’t really pick her. Then my dad would be just pecking my ear off, so I probably wouldn’t sit next to him for a full 90 minutes. I think I’d just have to say my friends, my two best friends, Joel and Ash. I know we’d have a really good time and have a few beers while we’re watching it.

Was there a pivotal moment on the way to Saturday’s game?

It’s got to be, probably, the Dortmund tie. We played against Liverpool, we played against Tottenham and we could never get over that quarter-final stage. So to finally do that there, there was a lot of emotion that came out in the dressing room after, I can assure you of that. Just that we’d finally done it. And I really enjoyed the PSG game. To play against the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, a couple of the best players in the world, was a great test for me.

Kyle Walker is ready for the final (top); The defender tackles Neymar during the semi-final second leg (above)

Who has been the best young player in the Champions League this season?

Jude Bellingham’s been very good; when we played them, I thought he was excellent. But I’d have to say Phil [Foden]. I’d have to say Phil just because he’s my team-mate and how he plays the game of football – it’s a joy to watch. 

What has been the most dramatic moment in this season’s competition?

When Jude scored the goal in Germany, I kind of looked around and thought to myself, “Not again! Not again! Not at this stage can we go out again.” And I’m sure people in the dressing room would be lying if they said that they didn’t feel that as well. So for us that was probably the most dramatic, but we showed great character and great resilience – togetherness – to get through that.

What does it mean to you to be in the final?

It’s everything. I didn’t play Champions League football until I was 26, which is not old, but people are playing – your Phil Fodens, your Judes, your Jadon Sanchos – a lot earlier now. So for me to finally get to a final, it’s a great achievement.

And what does it mean to Manchester City to be in the final?

It’s massive, it’s massive. The fans have had it good over the last number of years, where we’ve been able to deliver a lot of trophies. But, you know, having the neighbours across the road that they’ve had all their lives in Manchester United, it’s always going to be tough. So to get into a Champions League final, we’re in it to win it now. It’s one game of football and, hopefully, we can really catapult this club to where it wants to be.  

How would a win crown this season?

It’s the one trophy I’m missing. Since I’ve been here I’ve managed to pick up everything that I’ve been involved in, bar the Champions League. But it’s going to be tough – I don’t want to sit here and sound cocky or anything like that. It’s going to be a really, really tough game. Chelsea are good opponents. Though they’ve had the upper hand on us a few times this season so we do owe them one…

Game face
Interview

Game face

Kyle Walker can’t wait for kick-off on Saturday. Here the Manchester City defender discusses preparations, Phil Foden and his dad pecking his ear off

What are you most looking forward to?

Lifting the trophy. But it’s a game of football and it’s against a very good team, so what will be will be. But when you hear the music and you’re walking out, then you’re walking past the Champions League trophy for the first time… I’ve never seen it up close so I’ll take a good look and, hopefully, I’ll be holding it come the end of the game.

How will playing Chelsea affect your preparations?

No disrespect, we played Newport County [in the 2018/19 FA Cup] and we prepared just the same as if we were going to play Liverpool at Anfield. The manager’s detailed, the manager gets his ideas across to us as much as he can, and we go out and try to execute them as best as we can. But, obviously, knowing Chelsea and playing them as many times as we have, it’s going to be a little bit, we’ll say, easier. But I think it comes down to big players in big moments. Hopefully we have enough of those players. 

Do you remember the first Champions League final you ever watched, growing up?

The one I probably remember the most is when Liverpool made the comeback [in 2005]. I don’t know, it just felt so surreal when I was watching it. As a fan – well not as a fan, as a football fan – watching it, it was something really special.

If you weren’t playing in the final, which two people would you want to watch it with?

I think two people is a little bit unfair – I’ve got more friends than two people! I’d say my mum, but my mum doesn’t have a clue about football so I couldn’t really pick her. Then my dad would be just pecking my ear off, so I probably wouldn’t sit next to him for a full 90 minutes. I think I’d just have to say my friends, my two best friends, Joel and Ash. I know we’d have a really good time and have a few beers while we’re watching it.

Was there a pivotal moment on the way to Saturday’s game?

It’s got to be, probably, the Dortmund tie. We played against Liverpool, we played against Tottenham and we could never get over that quarter-final stage. So to finally do that there, there was a lot of emotion that came out in the dressing room after, I can assure you of that. Just that we’d finally done it. And I really enjoyed the PSG game. To play against the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, a couple of the best players in the world, was a great test for me.

Kyle Walker is ready for the final (top); The defender tackles Neymar during the semi-final second leg (above)

Who has been the best young player in the Champions League this season?

Jude Bellingham’s been very good; when we played them, I thought he was excellent. But I’d have to say Phil [Foden]. I’d have to say Phil just because he’s my team-mate and how he plays the game of football – it’s a joy to watch. 

What has been the most dramatic moment in this season’s competition?

When Jude scored the goal in Germany, I kind of looked around and thought to myself, “Not again! Not again! Not at this stage can we go out again.” And I’m sure people in the dressing room would be lying if they said that they didn’t feel that as well. So for us that was probably the most dramatic, but we showed great character and great resilience – togetherness – to get through that.

What does it mean to you to be in the final?

It’s everything. I didn’t play Champions League football until I was 26, which is not old, but people are playing – your Phil Fodens, your Judes, your Jadon Sanchos – a lot earlier now. So for me to finally get to a final, it’s a great achievement.

And what does it mean to Manchester City to be in the final?

It’s massive, it’s massive. The fans have had it good over the last number of years, where we’ve been able to deliver a lot of trophies. But, you know, having the neighbours across the road that they’ve had all their lives in Manchester United, it’s always going to be tough. So to get into a Champions League final, we’re in it to win it now. It’s one game of football and, hopefully, we can really catapult this club to where it wants to be.  

How would a win crown this season?

It’s the one trophy I’m missing. Since I’ve been here I’ve managed to pick up everything that I’ve been involved in, bar the Champions League. But it’s going to be tough – I don’t want to sit here and sound cocky or anything like that. It’s going to be a really, really tough game. Chelsea are good opponents. Though they’ve had the upper hand on us a few times this season so we do owe them one…

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

What are you most looking forward to?

Lifting the trophy. But it’s a game of football and it’s against a very good team, so what will be will be. But when you hear the music and you’re walking out, then you’re walking past the Champions League trophy for the first time… I’ve never seen it up close so I’ll take a good look and, hopefully, I’ll be holding it come the end of the game.

How will playing Chelsea affect your preparations?

No disrespect, we played Newport County [in the 2018/19 FA Cup] and we prepared just the same as if we were going to play Liverpool at Anfield. The manager’s detailed, the manager gets his ideas across to us as much as he can, and we go out and try to execute them as best as we can. But, obviously, knowing Chelsea and playing them as many times as we have, it’s going to be a little bit, we’ll say, easier. But I think it comes down to big players in big moments. Hopefully we have enough of those players. 

Do you remember the first Champions League final you ever watched, growing up?

The one I probably remember the most is when Liverpool made the comeback [in 2005]. I don’t know, it just felt so surreal when I was watching it. As a fan – well not as a fan, as a football fan – watching it, it was something really special.

If you weren’t playing in the final, which two people would you want to watch it with?

I think two people is a little bit unfair – I’ve got more friends than two people! I’d say my mum, but my mum doesn’t have a clue about football so I couldn’t really pick her. Then my dad would be just pecking my ear off, so I probably wouldn’t sit next to him for a full 90 minutes. I think I’d just have to say my friends, my two best friends, Joel and Ash. I know we’d have a really good time and have a few beers while we’re watching it.

Was there a pivotal moment on the way to Saturday’s game?

It’s got to be, probably, the Dortmund tie. We played against Liverpool, we played against Tottenham and we could never get over that quarter-final stage. So to finally do that there, there was a lot of emotion that came out in the dressing room after, I can assure you of that. Just that we’d finally done it. And I really enjoyed the PSG game. To play against the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, a couple of the best players in the world, was a great test for me.

Kyle Walker is ready for the final (top); The defender tackles Neymar during the semi-final second leg (above)

Who has been the best young player in the Champions League this season?

Jude Bellingham’s been very good; when we played them, I thought he was excellent. But I’d have to say Phil [Foden]. I’d have to say Phil just because he’s my team-mate and how he plays the game of football – it’s a joy to watch. 

What has been the most dramatic moment in this season’s competition?

When Jude scored the goal in Germany, I kind of looked around and thought to myself, “Not again! Not again! Not at this stage can we go out again.” And I’m sure people in the dressing room would be lying if they said that they didn’t feel that as well. So for us that was probably the most dramatic, but we showed great character and great resilience – togetherness – to get through that.

What does it mean to you to be in the final?

It’s everything. I didn’t play Champions League football until I was 26, which is not old, but people are playing – your Phil Fodens, your Judes, your Jadon Sanchos – a lot earlier now. So for me to finally get to a final, it’s a great achievement.

And what does it mean to Manchester City to be in the final?

It’s massive, it’s massive. The fans have had it good over the last number of years, where we’ve been able to deliver a lot of trophies. But, you know, having the neighbours across the road that they’ve had all their lives in Manchester United, it’s always going to be tough. So to get into a Champions League final, we’re in it to win it now. It’s one game of football and, hopefully, we can really catapult this club to where it wants to be.  

How would a win crown this season?

It’s the one trophy I’m missing. Since I’ve been here I’ve managed to pick up everything that I’ve been involved in, bar the Champions League. But it’s going to be tough – I don’t want to sit here and sound cocky or anything like that. It’s going to be a really, really tough game. Chelsea are good opponents. Though they’ve had the upper hand on us a few times this season so we do owe them one…

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

What are you most looking forward to?

Lifting the trophy. But it’s a game of football and it’s against a very good team, so what will be will be. But when you hear the music and you’re walking out, then you’re walking past the Champions League trophy for the first time… I’ve never seen it up close so I’ll take a good look and, hopefully, I’ll be holding it come the end of the game.

How will playing Chelsea affect your preparations?

No disrespect, we played Newport County [in the 2018/19 FA Cup] and we prepared just the same as if we were going to play Liverpool at Anfield. The manager’s detailed, the manager gets his ideas across to us as much as he can, and we go out and try to execute them as best as we can. But, obviously, knowing Chelsea and playing them as many times as we have, it’s going to be a little bit, we’ll say, easier. But I think it comes down to big players in big moments. Hopefully we have enough of those players. 

Do you remember the first Champions League final you ever watched, growing up?

The one I probably remember the most is when Liverpool made the comeback [in 2005]. I don’t know, it just felt so surreal when I was watching it. As a fan – well not as a fan, as a football fan – watching it, it was something really special.

If you weren’t playing in the final, which two people would you want to watch it with?

I think two people is a little bit unfair – I’ve got more friends than two people! I’d say my mum, but my mum doesn’t have a clue about football so I couldn’t really pick her. Then my dad would be just pecking my ear off, so I probably wouldn’t sit next to him for a full 90 minutes. I think I’d just have to say my friends, my two best friends, Joel and Ash. I know we’d have a really good time and have a few beers while we’re watching it.

Was there a pivotal moment on the way to Saturday’s game?

It’s got to be, probably, the Dortmund tie. We played against Liverpool, we played against Tottenham and we could never get over that quarter-final stage. So to finally do that there, there was a lot of emotion that came out in the dressing room after, I can assure you of that. Just that we’d finally done it. And I really enjoyed the PSG game. To play against the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, a couple of the best players in the world, was a great test for me.

Kyle Walker is ready for the final (top); The defender tackles Neymar during the semi-final second leg (above)

Who has been the best young player in the Champions League this season?

Jude Bellingham’s been very good; when we played them, I thought he was excellent. But I’d have to say Phil [Foden]. I’d have to say Phil just because he’s my team-mate and how he plays the game of football – it’s a joy to watch. 

What has been the most dramatic moment in this season’s competition?

When Jude scored the goal in Germany, I kind of looked around and thought to myself, “Not again! Not again! Not at this stage can we go out again.” And I’m sure people in the dressing room would be lying if they said that they didn’t feel that as well. So for us that was probably the most dramatic, but we showed great character and great resilience – togetherness – to get through that.

What does it mean to you to be in the final?

It’s everything. I didn’t play Champions League football until I was 26, which is not old, but people are playing – your Phil Fodens, your Judes, your Jadon Sanchos – a lot earlier now. So for me to finally get to a final, it’s a great achievement.

And what does it mean to Manchester City to be in the final?

It’s massive, it’s massive. The fans have had it good over the last number of years, where we’ve been able to deliver a lot of trophies. But, you know, having the neighbours across the road that they’ve had all their lives in Manchester United, it’s always going to be tough. So to get into a Champions League final, we’re in it to win it now. It’s one game of football and, hopefully, we can really catapult this club to where it wants to be.  

How would a win crown this season?

It’s the one trophy I’m missing. Since I’ve been here I’ve managed to pick up everything that I’ve been involved in, bar the Champions League. But it’s going to be tough – I don’t want to sit here and sound cocky or anything like that. It’s going to be a really, really tough game. Chelsea are good opponents. Though they’ve had the upper hand on us a few times this season so we do owe them one…

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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