Jack Grealish hopes to play under Jose Mourinho one day.
The Aston Villa and England midfielder made the admission after the Special One compared him to former Real Madrid and Barcelona star Luis Figo on talkSPORT.
Mourinho, who was named Roma’s new boss last month, is part of our exclusive European Championship coverage this summer and was effusive in his praise of Grealish as he rated England’s chances ahead of the tournament.
“I don’t like making comparisons, especially with a Golden Ball winner, but Grealish reminds me of my Figo,” he said.
“Figo, I had him in different periods in my career but I had him in his last season as a player at Inter Milan and even in his last season he was like, ‘give me the ball and I will resolve the problems for you’.
“The way Grealish gets the ball and attacks people, gets fouls, gets penalties, he’s very powerful, I like him very much.”
Responding to Mourinho’s praise, Grealish told talkSPORT: “I heard what Mourinho said, a lot of people sent me it.
“You try not to listen to too much whether it’s good or bad. It’s always nice when people are speaking about you, especially someone like Jose Mourinho.
“He’s done so much in the game, he’s such a popular man in football and he’s not short of football knowledge.
“Luis Figo is someone who I looked up to when I was a kid. He was an unbelievable player, but the the main thing was it came from Mourinho, who is an unbelievable manager.
“He’s done unbelievable things in the game. Hopefully one day I could play under him.”
Mourinho had said Grealish was ‘untouchable’ for England and backed him to start England’s Euro 2020 opener with Croatia.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate thought differently, starting Raheem Sterling instead and leaving Grealish on the bench, a decision that was justified with the Manchesyer City winger scoring the game’s only goal.
Grealish will now hope to get his chance to make his mark on the tournament when England host Scotland at Wembley on Friday.
He said: “I’m so desperate just to get on the pitch and prove to people just how good I am. These are the type of games that I thrive off.
“Not even just in this tournament, I’ve made a name for myself [in other big games] during my career. I’m desperate to be involved.
“But the main thing is the team get the three points and carry on our good start.”