Former Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has sent out an emotional message after being selected in the England squad for the FIFA World Cup. The 27-year-old, who left Villa for a club-record fee of £100 million in 2021, was one of 26 players named in the final roster.
Gareth Southgate selected the now-Manchester City man alongside six other attacking-minded midfielders, including fellow Cityzen Phil Foden and former Birmingham City star Jude Bellingham. Leicester City’s James Maddison was another to receive the call-up.
It didn’t take long for Grealish to react to the news, as he posted a collage of childhood images along with a lengthy caption on social media. “Dream come true. I’m just a kid from Solihull who’s going to a World Cup with England,” Grealish said.
“I remember going into school early to watch England vs Brazil in 2002, my first ever World Cup I can remember. To think 20 years later I’d be playing at one blows my mind. It’s always an honour to pull on the England shirt.
“It’s a privilege to be going out there representing you all watching back home. Can’t wait to meet up with the boys on Monday. Hopefully together we can make you all proud again. Come on England,” Grealish posted, with Coldplay’s ‘A Sky Full Of Stars’ a rather fitting backing track.
The Man City number 10 will be hoping to rediscover some of his best form as the Three Lions head to Qatar. Grealish has only played 47% of the minutes available in the Premier League this season, with just one goal contribution in eight appearances.
He also struggled last term as he managed just three goals and three assists during his first campaign in sky blue. In comparison, his best season - and his last as a Villa player - saw him score six times and contribute 12 assists in 26 matches.
There’s no doubt of Grealish’s ability, though, and Southgate clearly trusts in that. The Three Lions’ first Group B game, against Iran, kicks off at 1pm on Monday, November 21. They then take on the USA on November 25, before rounding off the group stage with a heated fixture vs Wales on November 29.