Jack Grealish reveals the lesson he learnt from Man Utd legend Cristiano Ronaldo


Grealish has picked up tips from Cristiano Ronaldo (Picture: Getty)

Jack Grealish has revealed he has looked to Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo as an example of how to deal with abuse from away supporters, in order to ‘thrive off the hatred’.

The Aston Villa captain, heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, has been one of the standout performers in the Premier League this season, scoring seven goals and providing six assists for his team-mates.

His future at his boyhood club remains unclear. With Manchester United circling and Villa locked in a relegation battle, he looks set to depart in the summer.

Despite the uncertainty over where he’ll be playing his football next season, Grealish has not been distracted on the pitch – putting in a series of magnificent displays against the Premier League’s elite.

One of the most fouled players in the division, Grealish is used to receiving plenty of verbal abuse from opposition fans – something he says he will miss when the Premier League returns behind closed doors.

And he feels, like Ronaldo used to do in away days at Villa Park, that he thrives when on the receiving end from other supporters.

Burnley FC v Aston Villa - Premier League
Grealish thrives on the ‘hatred’ of opposition fans (Picture: Getty)

‘I love all that,’ Grealish told the Express and Star. ‘I love when people are on my back and targeting me.

‘I always remember when I was a kid – and I am not saying I am anywhere near his level – but Cristiano Ronaldo used to come to Villa and the fans used to absolutely cane him.

‘He used to thrive off it and that is what I try to do. I try to thrive off the hatred from the fans.’

More: Manchester United FC

zone post image for post 12795955
Odion Ighalo fires warning to Man Utd rivals over Bruno Fernandes

zone post image for post 12795622
Marcus Rashford sends message to Odion Ighalo after completing Man Utd move

zone post image for post 12795078
Manchester City’s response to Manchester United’s interest in Raheem Sterling

Villa are currently second from bottom – although they will rise out the relegation zone if they win their game in hand against Sheffield United when play resumes – but Grealish remains hopeful he and his team-mates can rise to the challenge, even without their raucous support.

‘It is probably going to be a tough run-in,’ he adds. ‘But there are also teams who have not got much to play for we are playing against so you can look at it two different ways.

‘I am confident we will come back and play to the best of our abilities. We are looking fit as a team, probably fitter than we were at this stage in pre-season. We still have another two weeks and hopefully we can get fitter and more prepared than ever.

Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Ronaldo lapped up the hate (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I would probably say it is a disadvantage, if I am honest, only because of how much we have thrived on the home games this year.

‘We have won a lot more at home than we have away. We had six games remaining at home. We still have a game in hand and if we win the game in hand we are out of the relegation zone. It is not something we are going to sit back and moan about. It is still in our hands.

‘If we win our game in hand we are out of the bottom three and ready to go for the last nine games. We can’t moan about the fact we might have had the fans there. We will just take it as it is because we are just delighted to be getting back.’

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.


By: Metro Sport Reporter
Title: Jack Grealish reveals the lesson he learnt from Man Utd legend Cristiano Ronaldo
Sourced From: metro.co.uk/2020/06/02/jack-grealish-man-utd-transfer-cristiano-ronaldo-12796164/
Published Date: Tue, 02 Jun 2020 22:57:45 +0000