Jack Grealish loved being in comparison with Luis Figo by Jose Mourinho – and is now determined to make his mark for England at Euro 2020.
The Aston Villa and England midfielder was likened to former Actual Madrid and Barcelona star Figo by Mourinho on talkSPORT final week.
Mourinho, who will develop into Roma boss subsequent season, is a part of our unique European Championship protection this summer time and was effusive in his reward of Grealish as he rated England’s possibilities forward of the event.
“I don’t like making comparisons, particularly with a Golden Ball winner, however Grealish jogs my memory of my Figo,” he mentioned.
“Figo, I had him in numerous durations in my profession however I had him in his final season as a participant at Inter Milan and even in his final season he was like, ‘give me the ball and I’ll resolve the issues for you’.
“The best way Grealish will get the ball and assaults individuals, will get fouls, will get penalties, he’s very highly effective, I like him very a lot.”
Responding to Mourinho’s reward, Grealish instructed talkSPORT: “I heard what Mourinho mentioned, lots of people despatched me that.
“You attempt to not take heed to an excessive amount of, whether or not it’s good or unhealthy. It’s all the time good when persons are talking about you, particularly somebody like Jose Mourinho.
“He’s executed a lot within the sport, he’s such a well-liked man in soccer and he’s not wanting soccer data.
“Luis Figo is somebody who I appeared as much as after I was a child. He was an unbelievable participant, however the the principle factor was it got here from Mourinho, who’s an unbelievable supervisor.
“He’s executed unbelievable issues within the sport. Hopefully in the future I might play below him.”
Mourinho had mentioned Grealish was ‘untouchable’ for England and backed him to begin the Euro 2020 opener with Croatia.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate thought in another way, beginning Raheem Sterling as a substitute and leaving Grealish on the bench, a choice that was justified with the Manchester City winger scoring the sport’s solely aim.
Grealish is now desperately hoping he’ll make his main event bow when England host Scotland in a mammoth conflict at Wembley on Friday.
He mentioned: “I’m so determined simply to get on the pitch and show to individuals simply how good I’m. These are the kind of video games that I thrive off.
“Not even simply on this event, I’ve made a reputation for myself [in other big games] throughout my profession. I’m determined to be concerned.
“However the principle factor is the staff get the three factors and stick with it our good begin.”
Ought to England progress by way of the group stage, Portugal might effectively await within the final 16 and a showdown with one of many best gamers the sport has ever seen – Cristiano Ronaldo.
What wouldn’t it be prefer to face Ronaldo?
“It will be unbelievable,” mentioned Grealish. “I’ve by no means performed in opposition to him however he was somebody I all the time appeared as much as as a child.
“I keep in mind one sport I went to with my dad and my brother. He turned to the followers they usually have been giving him a lot stick, he scored at Villa Park and as quickly because the ball went out of play, he went (factors to himself) as if it’s all about me. My dad loves it, it’s his story to inform to at the present time.”
For now, Grealish isn’t wanting past Scotland, who boast an array of gifted Premier League gamers – his Aston Villa teammate John McGinn amongst them.
“Ginny is a participant we have to be careful for, he’s so gifted. However so lots of their gamers are so gifted. [Kieran] Tierney is certainly one of Arsenal’s greatest gamers, [Andy] Robertson is certainly one of Liverpool’s greatest gamers, there’s John McGinn, Billy Gilmour, Stuart Armstrong has had a superb season for Southampton and so has Che Adams.
“They’ve a lot menace and I mentioned to Ginny, they will do one thing just like Wales at Euro 2016 (once they reached the semi-finals) as a result of they’ve that a lot of a gifted squad.
“It will be an unbelievable sport to be concerned in. Friday evening at Wembley in opposition to Scotland on the Euros – it will likely be unbelievable.”
Grealish is at the hours of darkness over whether or not will likely be concerned, nevertheless, with Gareth Southgate giving little away over what staff he’ll choose.
“Even in coaching we don’t do something the place we’d have any clues. We’ve simply received to take it because it comes,” he mentioned.
“Everyone seems to be on the market coaching their hardest, as a result of everybody desires to play, however clearly the supervisor can solely choose 11 gamers, so we’re all attempting to impress him.”
And what would the 25-year-old do if England went on to win the event?
“Go to Vegas for ten days,” he replied, with little hesitation. “I’d be straight on a aircraft to Vegas and I wouldn’t be coming again! Accomplished it!”