Jack Grealish has questioned why he shouldn’t be allowed to celebrate Manchester City winning the title with a holiday to Ibiza after he was criticised by some.
Grealish left boyhood club Aston Villa for a new challenge at City last summer and the £100m paid off for him as he won the Premier League title in his first season at the Etihad Stadium.
Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan was particularly vocal about Grealish’s wild celebrations after winning the title, while Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insisted he wouldn’t be replicating the England international if the Reds won the Champions League.
There has even been criticism of Grealish’s choice of holiday destination as he flew to Ibiza after winning the title and the 26-year-old is baffled by the scrutiny.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror on international duty, Grealish said: “It’s fine (being England’s poster boy). It is what it is. If that’s what people think, that’s fine. I think it’s a good thing to have – and you just have to embrace it.
“I try not to let anything get to my head. It’s all about enjoying it, as long as I’m enjoying myself, playing football and enjoying life off the pitch even; then I will perform well. Fingers crossed I can do that over the few weeks and few games.
“I’m doing what I have loved doing my whole life. I’m the most expensive British player but I’m also the Jack from Solihull who my friends and family know. I’ll never let that leave me, no matter what anyone says.
“I know people were saying last week, ‘Oh, he’s doing too much’. But what? I’ve just won the Premier League. It’s a dream come true. Why can’t I go on holiday?
“There’s people that are at England with me now who went to Vegas, Ibiza, Marbella, all these places. No-one said a word, but because it was me, people were saying things. I love coming here. I love training, playing with the lads. It’s such a good bunch. We always look forward to playing with each other.
“That’s one thing that Gareth has done, he’s made this a team. Somewhere where you enjoy coming to play. I’ve heard people say in the past that they didn’t enjoy coming to play for England, like 10-15 years ago.
“But credit to the manager he’s made it a place where everyone wants to come. Southgate has done a brilliant job here. It’s not how it used to be. We are all friends.
“We know when we come here we have a job to do together even if we might be rivals on a Saturday, we know we have a job to do here. We are going to try do that.”