Manchester City winger Jack Grealish has earned a reputation for being a laid-back operator off the pitch, with the former Aston Villa star seen as a throwback to the early Premier League era.
With much attention from Pep Guardiola, Grealish’s cheerful demeanor has garnered him an army of supporters for club and country as the 27-year-old brings a fresh take on the image of the modern elite footballer.
However, Grealish’s quips have also landed him in hot water at City, with the former Premier League transfer record holder facing criticism for his comments on Newcastle striker Miguel Almiron after the 2021/22 season.
Grealish has since apologized for the incident but Magpies fans have criticized his stance and the England international came in to slam on social media.
Here’s how the saga unfolded: what Grealish said, how Almiron reacted and what the Man City star said in his apology.
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What happened between Grealish and Almiron?
The problem dates back to City’s Premier League title save in Manchester at the end of the 2021/22 season when Grealish celebrated his first major title at the Etihad Stadium.
As the open-top party bus meandered through the streets of Manchester, a drunk Grealish was caught on video making negative derisive comments about Almiron, in a clip that immediately went viral on social media.
What did Grealish say about Almiron?
The video cast Grealish in a bad light when, speaking to team-mate Bernardo Silva, he claimed there were two “secrets” to City’s Premier League title win over Aston Villa.
Grealish jibed at City star Riyad Mahrez, declaring the Algerian deserved to be substituted and quipped that ‘he played like Almiron, get him off’.
The comment referred to City’s last game of the season, which required a thrilling 3-2 home win over Aston Villa to clinch the title, with Mahrez being substituted just before the hour mark as City came from two goals behind to win.
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Did Almiron react to Grealish?
Almiron was asked about the incident shortly after, with the Paraguay international dismissing any speculation that he was irritated by Grealish’s comments as he wiped the video.
“I wasn’t paying much attention, I was on vacation with my family [in the Maldives]’ he said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
“And I had no cell phone signal! So no, I didn’t watch the video. It didn’t bother me!
“Jack is a great player and I will always wish him well. He’s at City for a reason. I avoid making comparisons. It’s about me focusing on what I’m doing. It’s no big deal .”
Did Grealish apologize to Almiron?
Following backlash over his antics, Grealish chose to apologize for his unwise remarks while on duty with England at the World Cup in late 2022.
“I wasn’t actually asked about it and I’ll just go with it,” Grealish said.
“I sometimes do some damn stupid things that I regret. It was the day after the end of the season and obviously I’d had a few drinks. Then I remember being in Ibiza and it (the video) had come out obviously.
“I’m really excited about his reaction. He said something about me in an interview the other day and wished me the best.
“I was like, ‘What a guy,’ because if someone had said that about me, I probably would have been different.
“I messaged Matt Targett because I’ve been close to him since my Villa days and I said to him, ‘Can you message him for me and say I’m sorry’.
“I thought the video was private. But even in private I shouldn’t have said it because he’s a professional colleague.”
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Grealish vs Almiron: Who is better?
Grealish’s apology has eased tension over the incident but Newcastle fans are still angry at his comments as Almiron’s 2022/23 form led some supporters to claim the Paraguayan performed better than City’s 100m- pound man.
Based on overall stats, Grealish is ahead of the former Atlanta United star but the England international is now in his sixth full season as a Premier League player compared to Almiron’s three-and-a-half campaigns in England.
Grealish v Almiron Premier League stats (2014-2023) Jack Grealish Miguel Almiron Matches 141,133 Goals 21 19 Assists 24 4 Social media reactions to the Grealish v Almiron feud
The battle lines were drawn on social media in Grealish vs Almiron and fans really enjoyed it.