John McGinn has been chatting to FourFourTwo about how it feels to be going to a major tournament with Scotland for the first time in 21 years.
Speaking in the new Euro 2020 issue, the Aston Villa midfielder said that he's gearing up for the tournament by collecting the stickers and that it's natural to feel jealous of other countries that have gone to tournaments in the last few years.
“There was a natural jealousy of other countries going into these tournaments, but you’d almost come to expect it,” McGinn said. “If you were of a certain age, it was normal. I remember sitting in school, hoping you’d have a decent teacher who would let you watch the games, then on the way home you’d buy packs of Panini stickers.”
“I love the thought of Scottish kids watching Scotland games and opening packs with our faces on them. They sent me a sticker book, and I’ll admit to having filled it – I had to order a few stickers to get over the line. I think I got about 150 Scott McTominays, so I’ve seen enough of his face!”
McGinn could well face many of his clubmates in the tournament, since Group D pits the Tartan Army against England. Jack Grealish in particular has been tipped for a big role in the Three Lions' side - but McGinn claims that he's more than happy not to come up against Grealish in the game.
“Six or seven of the boys could easily be in the England squad,” he says. “They were very quick to say that we’d come away from Wembley with nothing, but we’ll see. There aren’t many rivalries like it. I know what to expect if I go back to Birmingham with nothing to show for it, so I’ll be doing everything I can to have the bragging rights.”
“[Grealish] is the most talented player I’ve ever played with. It’s pleasing that he’s been showing it on the international stage, too. We’re very fortunate to have him at Villa. His performance against Belgium made the world sit up and take notice of his ability. England are lucky to have such a unique player.
“My hope is that he stays fit and goes to the Euros, because I get on so well with him. I know how much it would mean to him. But Gareth Southgate is welcome to rest him for the Scotland game…”
Read the full interview with John McGinn in the new issue of FourFourTwo, out now
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