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Published 14 June 2021 2 min read
England Men's Senior Team

That's for you, mum

Written by:

Tom Dean

England man reveals his performance on Sunday provided a perfect birthday present for his mum at Wembley
Kalvin Phillips gave his mum the perfect birthday present with his man of the match performance in England’s 1-0 over Croatia on Sunday.
The 25 year old provided the pass for Raheem Sterling’s winner but was all over the Wembley pitch, breaking up play, distributing the ball and almost grabbed a goal for himself early on.
And speaking on Lions’ Den connected by EE, the Leeds United midfielder admitted it was all a bit of a blur but the Phillips family won’t be forgetting the moment in a hurry - not least mother Lindsay, who celebrated her birthday on Saturday.
“It’s mad, I can’t really put it into words,” said Phillips. “When I was running forwards with the ball, I can’t really even remember doing it. Walks [Kyle Walker] passed me the ball and then it was in the back of the net and the crowd went mental.
“It was my mum’s birthday the day before and she was sitting right in front of where we celebrated so it felt like I was celebrating with her.”
As a youngster Phillips was a more attack-minded player but has seen his role had morphed into a more versatile midfielder while working with current Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa over the last few years.  
14 Jun 2021 42:16

Kalvin heads to the Den

England's Kalvin Phillips was our special guest in the Lions' Den on Monday

Phillips has since has grown into his defensive responsibilities and had no problem in containing one of the most accomplished midfielders in world football in Luka Modric on Sunday. 

But it hasn’t come at the expense of his attacking play either, as he perfectly demonstrated in England’s UEFA EURO 2020 opener. 

“I was a player who scored a lot of goals when I was younger,” said Phillips. “And then when the new manager [Marcelo Bielsa] came in and changed my position, he nurtured me to be a bit more defensive. 

“But I always knew that I could make room to find a pass and get into positions where I can hurt defences. 

“I had this feeling before the game that I might score and I said it to Ben White. Obviously, I didn’t score but I did set one up. 

“Whenever I get on the ball, I just think ‘don’t give it away’ and if there’s a pass that I can play forward, if not then try and give it to someone who’s in a better position. My team-mates helped me out a lot though.”