Aston Villa skipper, Jack Grealish has opened up on how he used to look up to Manchester United legend, Cristiano Ronaldo as an example of how to deal with abuse one receives from the away supporters and how to channel that hatred and thrive off it.
Grealish who has emerged as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League has been heavily linked with a move away from the club, with Manchester United understood to be very keen to sign him in the summer.
The 24-year-old is one of the most fouled players in the league and while the player admitted that he receives plenty of verbal abuse from opposition fans – he believes that it is something that motivates him even more, and something that he learnt from looking at the way Ronaldo took it on his stride during his time at Old Trafford.
“I love all that. 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,” he said to Express and Star.
It will be interesting to see whether the player can get anywhere close to Ronaldo’s level, considering that many believe that Grealish is the next big thing to come out from England.