Jack Grealish played a pivotal role in England’s 1-0 win over the Czech Republic as they finished at the top of Group D. The attacking midfielder earned his ninth cap for England and provided a crucial assist for Raheem Sterling’s solitary goal in the game.
Grealish has revealed that he is looking forward to following the footsteps of England greats Paul Gascoigne and Wayne Rooney. This was his first start for England in the Euros and by winning the game the Three Lions have qualified for the round of 16.
The Aston Villa midfielder is focused to play a big role in this country’s run in the Euros. When asked whether the Euros can take his career to the next level, he told reporters, “Definitely. I have spoken about how big these tournaments can be in players’ careers.
“If you look back and think of Gazza at Italia 90, that is where he first made a… well he was obviously still well known before, but I think everyone remembers him for that tournament especially.
“You look at Wayne Rooney in Euro 2004 – I think that was where he set his marker to say: ‘I am going to be one of the best in the world’. I am hoping to follow in their footsteps and hopefully, I can do that if I get more chances in this tournament.”
Grealish started the tournament on the bench as Chelsea attacking midfielder Mason Mount was preferred over the Aston Villa talisman. However, Mount was ruled out against the Czechs as he had to isolate himself with Chelsea teammate Ben Chilwell in accordance to Covid-19 regulations. Hence Grealish started in his place and made it count. He started dominating in the first 30 minutes of the game with his exceptional ball progression and drive from midfield.
He provided a pinpoint cross which allowed Sterling to head home on the back post. Their solitary goal was enough for the Three Lions to register their second win in this Euros. “I love playing football. That is what I was born to do,” Grealish said of his performance. “I just play football every day of my life. When I go out there and play it is no pressure on me whatsoever.
“I felt like I had a good performance but I still maybe felt like in the second half I could have got on the ball a little more and probably tried to dictate the game a little more from an England point of view.
“I have never played in the Europa League or Champions League before, so it is obviously different to what I am used to. I love it and if I perform on this stage it is a matter of showcasing my talent to the world and that is what I want to do,” the 25-year-old added.