Portugal star Bernardo Silva has praised England and Manchester City midfielder Jack Grealish ahead of their potential meeting in the World Cup.
City stars Phil Foden, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Kalvin Phillips and Grealish are all part of England’s squad at the World Cup. They face France in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
The winners of that tie will face Morocco or Portugal in the semi-finals. The latter hammered Switzerland 6-1 earlier this week.
Silva was understandably delighted with the triumph that came days after Grealish said he was probably the best he has played with, saying “he’s changed the way I see football”.
“I love him as well!” the Portuguese said when told of those comments. “I love Jack a lot as well, he’s a great guy.
“The first season is never easy. It wasn’t easy for me. When I arrived I didn’t play much and people that play at other clubs think one day if I play for Man City I’ll score 20 goals, get 30 assists… It doesn’t work like that.
“The way Jack works for the team, the way he attracts players to then create spaces for other players, he’s been helping us a lot, he’s improving a lot and I think he’s going to be great for Man City over the next few years.”
When a potential semi-final clash with England was put to Silva, he said: “It would be tough, to be honest, but there’s France as well.
“I wish the Man City lads all the best. I honestly don’t want to play against them.”
There are a number of reasons to fear England, with Silva joking Grealish’s ability to draw fouls was among their weapons.
“I keep sending messages to Jack,” he said. “The other game he was brought in and I was filming, and I said to Ruben (Dias), ‘How many fouls do you think Jack is going to get in this game in 25 minutes’?
“Ruben said nine, I said seven. I was closer, he didn’t get that much.
“But I’m happy for Jack, for Phil as well and the Man City players because they’re doing quite well for England.”
The feeling is surely mutual and Grealish could not have failed to be impressed by Portugal’s statement win against Switzerland, when Cristiano Ronaldo’s 21-year-old replacement Goncalo Ramos marked his first start with a hat-trick.
“Great player, very young, great talent,” Silva said of Ramos. “He works so much.
“He’s such a good guy as well and it’s nice to know you have players who think about the team. He’s one of those.
“His movement, the way he presses, he was great for us tonight.”
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