(Refiles to clarify question regarding working with Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola)
DUBAI, 28 January 2022 – Manchester City and England international Jack Grealish made a special appearance at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Festival Garden today (28 January) for a live in-person Q&A
Excited fans created a fittingly festival-like atmosphere, with activities and giveaways for children at the event, which was preceded by Grealish touring the Expo 2020 Dubai site, stopping off at key attractions including the UAE Pavilion, the Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub, the UK Pavilion, the Luxembourg Pavilion and Al Wasl Plaza.
Grealish, 26, became the most expensive English football player ever when he signed for Manchester City last year, after starring in England’s run to the final of UEFA Euro 2020 earlier in the same summer.
Expo 2020 Dubai is the Official Exhibition Partner of English Premier League champions Manchester City under its partnership with City Football Group, announced last year, and building on the universal appeal of football to drive awareness of Expo 2020 around the world.
Have you enjoyed your experience at Expo 2020 Dubai and what have been your highlights?
It’s been unbelievable … I knew it was going to be good – but I feel like since I’ve come here, I’m gutted I didn’t tell my family members and my girlfriend to come. The UAE [Pavilion] … with all the sand, as I’ve walked in I didn’t even realise that [the sand] was real because it was so flat. Then the guy says to me: “This is real, you know. You can pick it up.” So I picked it up. The whole place is absolutely surreal and somewhere where I’d advise to come.
What was it like seeing all your fans here, thousands of miles away from home?
Yeah, you know that you have fans back home but you don’t realise sometimes how many fans you have abroad. So I just want to say a big thank you to all of them for coming out and seeing me today – I absolutely loved everything.
Expo 2020 Dubai is currently celebrating its Health & Wellness Week – what’s your top tip for people to get in shape?
I can only speak on what I do and that’s to exercise four or five times a week [and] stay on top of your diet, which is something that I do as well. It works for me, so if it works for me, I think it will work for you.
How have you enjoyed working with Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola?
It’s been something that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I always knew it was going to be different coming to work for even a foreign manager – I’ve always been quite used to English managers, whether it be Dean Smith, Steve Bruce, Tim Sherwood. So I knew it was going to be different like that, but obviously everyone knows how much of a brilliant career [Guardiola] has had as a player and as a manager especially. He’s certainly improved my game – as much as it probably doesn’t look like it at the moment, because I haven’t had the actual stats, I’ve learnt things this year that I didn’t think I’d ever learn in football.
You have played in the UEFA Champions League for the first time this season – how important is winning that competition for the first time, for both yourself and Manchester City?
It’s obviously massive. I think that’s what most of the lads in the changing room want – they’ve won literally everything [else] that you can dream of winning at club level, so I think that’s the last one that is on their list. And for me personally, that’s what I’ve come to City to do. I’ve said it at the start: I’ve come here to play Champions League football and to play in all these big games. So that’s obviously at the top of everyone’s list, I’d say.