Jack Grealish relishing Neymar challenge after dream Champions League debut

The England international marked his Champions League debut with a goal against RB Leipzig but he now has his eyes set on Paris Saint-Germain in City’s group stage

Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowPep Guardiola reflects after Manchester City’s 6-3 win against LeipzigByDavid AndersonFootball and boxing correspondent

  • 20:37, 16 Sep 2021
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After achieving one dream by scoring on his Champions League debut, Jack Grealish wants to realise another by playing against Lionel Messi and Co.

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Manchester City face Paris St Germain next in the Champions League and Grealish cannot wait to pit himself against the stellar talents of Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Grealish watched videos of Neymar at Santos when he was a teenager coming through the ranks at Aston Villa and was dazzled by his skill.

“It’s going to unbelievable going to PSG,” said the record £100million signing. “They’ve got some really talented players, but we have too.

Jack Grealish netted for Man City on his Champions League debut against RB Leipzig
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Image:
Andrew Yates/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

“Neymar is an unbelievable player. I used to watch videos of him, even going back to when he was a kid playing for Santos.

“He’s had such a wonderful career, he’s nearly the top goalscorer for Brazil. It will be pleasure to share a pitch with him.

“So yeah, we’ll be looking forward to it.”

Although Grealish is almost in awe of PSG, who were held by Brugge in their opening group game, he believes City can go one better than last season’s final defeat to Chelsea.

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He says there is a real determination among the City players to win the Champions League because of that huge disappointment.

“Every team changes over the nine or 10 months of a season and at the moment, it’s anyone’s competition,” he said.

“You look at the result in the PSG-Brugge game and can see that anything can happen in this competition.

“We’ll see come May who is in and about it.

“The players are always talking about last season’s final. They’re determined to go one better this year.

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“This is a good start for us. Hopefully we can go all the way this time.

“We’ve got such a talented team, I really do think we can go all the way.”

Grealish, 26, is the first English player to score and make an assist on his Champions League debut since Wayne Rooney in 2004.

He delivered the corner for Nathan Ake’s opener in City’s crazy 6-3 win over RB Leipzig and the Blues defender says he has added another dimension to the Blues’ attack.

“He adds so much threat,” said Ake. “Every time you give him the ball, you feel like something’s going to happen.

“He always wants to take players on, he always wants to create something.

“With the players we have in the team already and with him, you can see we can create so many chances and score goals. So he’s a big plus and a bonus for us.”

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