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Jack Grealish says “this is what I’ve wanted my whole life” as he prepares for his first main event with England at Euro 2020.
The Aston Villa midfielder, 25, performed his approach into rivalry this season and has gained seven caps since making his England debut in September.
“My number one thing was to try to break my way into this squad,” he stated.
“I had my debut at the start of season so to be here is a dream come true. I will cherish every moment.”
England boss Gareth Southgate refused a clamour to name Grealish up final season earlier than lastly together with him for the primary time at the beginning of 2020-21.
“He’s the manager of England so he’ll obviously be a brilliant coach,” stated Grealish. “He’s helped my game massively. At the start of the season I said to him ‘what can I improve on?’.
“He gave me a number of issues to work on to attempt to power my approach into the staff. I feel it is labored as I’ve had seven video games since.
“I love coming away [to the England camp]. I’ve heard people say years ago they didn’t really enjoy it. I think it’s down to the manager and he deserves credit for that. We’re like a group of mates playing together.”
England play their event opener on Sunday at 14:00 BST at Wembley in opposition to Croatia, the facet who beat them within the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.
“I remember watching Russia in 2018. It was crazy how football brought the whole nation together. Even my nan who never watches football was watching every game,” he stated.
“I remember Euro 2004 when Rooney burst onto the scene. It sticks in the memory. You grow up thinking about these things and dreaming of them.
“It’ll be unbelievable. My household are so excited already. It’ll be an amazing feeling for them to look at me at a significant event. Hopefully I get on the pitch and categorical myself in some unspecified time in the future and make them proud.”
Grealish was born and bred in Birmingham but played for the Republic of Ireland at Under-17, U18 and U21 level from 2011 to 2014 – eligible because of Irish grandparents.
He changed allegiance in 2015 and played for England Under-21s until he was too old.
“When I used to be youthful, I used to be about 15, I obtained requested to play for England and Ireland at a event,” he stated.
“I went away with England and I collapsed in my room the day earlier than coaching. I obtained despatched residence. In that point I went to Ireland to trial there and I performed.
“When you’re younger you do what makes you happy. I loved it. I was just a young kid enjoying my football. As I got older I started playing in the Villa first team. I’m English, my parents were born here. I feel English.
“I modified to England and I’ve by no means seemed again. I would not be right here at the moment if I hadn’t.”