Jack Grealish compared his exit from boyhood club Aston Villa to the moment Lionel Messi said his goodbyes to Barcelona.
Barcelona’s talisman announced on Sunday that he would be leaving as a result of financial restrictions that prevented him from re-signing at the Camp Nou. The 34-year-old striker was visibly upset at the beginning of his press conference and at times found it difficult to speak.
Grealish was not afforded the same opportunity by Villa, but the 25-year-old England international had been with the club since he was six until a £100 million deal was agreed with Manchester City on Thursday.
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In his first media appearance as a City player, Grealish explained: "Everyone has seen the way Messi was at his final press conference.
"That is the exact way I felt myself.
“Before I left at the hotel I spoke to the team, the staff and the players and I teared up a bit myself."
Grealish described his departure as "one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make".
"I felt like it was time for me to move on," he continued.
"I've always said how much I wanted to play Champions League football - I couldn't do that at Villa this year.
"I have come here to win silverware and play in the Champions League, so that is my only focus now."
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