Jack Grealish is set to be one of the stars of the Euros, as he prepares for his first major tournament with England. His performances for Aston Villa this season caught the eye of many, not just in these islands.
Grealish was speaking at a media event today. One Italian journalist brought up the supposed similarities between Grealish and Roma legend Francesco Totti, and in doing so, referenced a cheeky tweet from Grealish from 2014 that had nothing to do with Francesco Totti.
So many Francesco Totti's in London!!
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) March 19, 2014
🗣"I grew up watching him and I looked up to him."
Jack Grealish spoke about being compared to Francesco Totti and what he admired about the Roma legend pic.twitter.com/CvkEqGggNe
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 9, 2021
Grealish smiled knowingly as the question was asked, and graciously accepted the compliment.
He was obviously an unbelievable player. A player that stayed at his club, you know, throughout his whole career - he showed great loyalty there. He was an unbelievable player for club and for country. I'm not too sure...I'd probably have to ask you what you think of the qualities that we do share! But yeah, he was one player that I grew up watching and I certainly looked up to him.
As of publication, we are still unclear whether this was an honest question or a sly question from a knowing journalist. We're thinking that the journalist was oblivious to the rhyme slang where Totti and hotties become interchangeable.
For what it's worth, the similarities between the two footballers are undeniable. Thus far, despite interest from bigger clubs, Grealish has stayed put at Aston Villa, and seen them through a promotion campaign and a climb up the Premier League table.
Similarly, Totti rejected the advances of many big clubs to stay at Roma for 25 years, winning a single Serie A title with the club in 2000-01. Grealish will be hoping to follow Totti's lead on the international stage, with the Italian part of the side that won the 2006 World Cup.
We don't remember a stage of Francesco Totti's career where he played for Switzerland at underage level before suddenly defecting to Italy at senior level, but maybe that's where the similarities between himself and Jack Grealish end..