JACK GREALISH ticked a major item off his bucket list by visiting the locations of his favourite film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
Now the England and Manchester City midfielder is hoping his team can finally achieve something at the top of everyone’s list — the Three Lions to win a major tournament.
Grealish goes into the Euro 2024 qualifiers, starting with tomorrow’s big clash against Italy in Naples, in the best form of his career.
The ex-Aston Villa midfielder has been box office after the World Cup, which included a pre-Christmas trip to the United States where he visited all the filming spots of the 1992 film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
Grealish is a fan of Macaulay Culkin who rose to fame as Kevin McCallister and the £100million star even stayed in the Plaza Hotel hotel where the film was set.
He said: “It was a little bucket-list moment for me.
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“I stayed in the hotel and you could get some mad room service, like 16 scoops of ice cream — like what he got in the film. I’ve got an addictive kind of personality!
“I love that film, man. Someone had told me about the tour so we went round Central Park. I felt like a right little tourist.
“I was in the back of a horse-drawn carriage thing and every now and again someone would say: ‘I swear that’s Jack Grealish’. I was saying: ‘Mate! Quick! Speed up!’
“It was good to have a few days off. It was difficult going out of the World Cup. I thought we played so well in the whole of the tournament.
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“People who I play with, who were there with other countries, told me they thought we were going to win it, which is a credit to us.
“Going out in the quarter-finals in the way we did, it was a game we could have won. So obviously it wasn’t the best.”
And after his mountain of ice cream, Grealish was shocked to be called into action again so soon after the break by Pep Guardiola at City.
He said: “The manager gave us eight or nine days off.
“I didn’t actually do a lot of running or anything because I just felt I needed a little break.
I thought, ‘There’s no chance I’ll be involved’. Then in the f***ing 70th minute Pep Guardiola tells me, ‘Jack, you’re going on’. I was like, ‘F***ing hell!’ because I was blowing out of my arse!
“We went to New York and then I went back into training on the Wednesday and we were playing Liverpool on the Thursday in the Carabao Cup on December 22.
“I thought, ‘There’s no chance I’ll be involved’. Then in the f***ing 70th minute Pep Guardiola tells me, ‘Jack, you’re going on’. I was like, ‘F***ing hell!’ because I was blowing out of my arse!
“Luckily we went on to win. I just didn’t think I’d be involved.”
City beat Liverpool 3-2 in that cup match and since then, Grealish has clearly grown as a player.
But he wants to contribute even more for England.
He made five sub appearances in Qatar but did not start a game.
And Grealish is hoping England can finally deliver at a major tournament.
Tomorrow, they face Italy, who beat them on penalties in the final of Euro 2020.
Grealish, 27, said: “We have come close so many times.
“The last three tournaments have been a semi-final, a final and then the quarters.
“It is obvious what we want to do and we are getting better and better. The players are coming through and playing with so much confidence.
“I feel like the next one really could be our one.
“Everyone will be in their prime. I actually feel old at the moment but, when I think about it, I will only be 28 at the Euros.
“It’s no secret we all want to win a tournament — and I do think it is there to be done.”
Grealish has played 45 games in all competitions for club and country this season — making 28 starts for City.
He said: “I was speaking to Rio Ferdinand and he asked me, ‘Are you doing anything different?’ ‘I’m actually not’, I said.
“I genuinely can’t put my finger on what it is. I feel I am in the best form, especially since I moved to City.
“If you were to ask me one thing I probably would say confidence. At the moment, I just feel a bit like I did when I was at Aston Villa.
“I feel like one of the main players, it is the fittest I have been, especially since I have been at Man City.
“That comes down to playing a lot of games on the bounce and playing in big games.
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“Just making an impact really, scoring against Arsenal and Manchester United, getting assists at Chelsea away and then Arsenal at home in the Cup, big games like that.
“I’m really confident at the moment.”