Modest Kalvin Phillips reveals cheeky Raheem Sterling quip after Leeds United star sets up England winner

LEEDS United midfielder Kalvin Phillips insisted he was simply "laid back" after absolutely excelling on his major international tournament debut for England.

Sunday, 13th June 2021, 4:55 pm
Updated Sunday, 13th June 2021, 4:56 pm

Phillips became his club's first England starter at a major international tournament for 19 years as England began their quest for Euro 2020 glory against Croatia at Wembley.

The 25-year-old played an advanced role in midfield as West Ham's Declan Rice sat deep and Phillips set up the only goal of the game through a superb piece of play in the 57th minute.

The Whites Academy graduate stormed into the final third of the pitch and then produced a perfect through ball for Raheem Sterling who slammed home his finish to ensure Gareth Southgate's Three Lions began the tournament with a victory.

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MATCH-WINNING ASSIST: For Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips as England began their quest for Euro 2020 glory in perfect fashion with a 1-0 victory against Croatia. Photo by GLYN KIRK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

Phillips then revealed that Sterling joked about his ability to finally find him with a pass, and Phillips also made light of the enormity of his feat and performance which not did befit a player making his international tournament debut.

"To be honest I am just laid back, that's the kind of person I am," said Phillips to BBC Sport.

"Regardless of what has been thrown at me I just kind of try and take it in my path and try and relax as much as possible.

"If I didn't have the team around me and the coaching team around me to make me feel like that then I don't think it would be possible."

Reflecting on his work to set up Sterling for the winner - and England's performance as a whole capped by his assist - Phillips said: "Obviously it's a nice feeling.

"Raheem said as soon as we finished celebrating that it's the first time that I have looked at him and first time that I have found him with a pass since I have been coming up England so it's a nice feeling.

"Obviously it's a great feeling to get an assist and it's a great feeling to get the three points.

"It was very enjoyable. It was really warm for a start. It took its toll on us towards the end of the game and it was obviously a great result.

"Obviously we are very happy with the performance but I know that there's two more group games left and we need to perform just as good as that if not better in the next two games."

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Thank you Laura Collins