Despite their rivalries at the club level, Maguire feels that they are “a big family” when they come together for the national duty.
England defender Harry Maguire has asserted that the spirit in the group is “incredible” ahead of their Euro 2020 final against Italy on Sunday. Despite their rivalries at the club level, Maguire feels that they are “a big family” when they come together for the national duty. The Manchester United skipper spoke to Sky Sports News presenter Mark Wright about the team’s journey after the World Cup in Russia and their Euro 2020 performances. “I don’t think it’s sunk in that we are in the final. For me, it just feels like we are on this journey, we’re winning football matches, and it’s another game coming up that we have to win,” he added.
In the 2018 Russia World Cup, England reached the semifinals where they lost to Croatia. “Obviously it’s an amazing experience that we’ve been on, not just this journey, but over the last three or four years. I think ever since Russia, we were so disappointed in the semi-final, but we knew at that stage that we just weren’t ready to go on and perform in that semi-final to warrant a place in the final,” he added.
“We knew come the semi-final against Denmark we’d be a lot more focused, a lot more ready and I think the performance that the lads put in was a great performance. We dominated the game from start to finish. Obviously the setback that we had in the game, from a wonder strike from their player on a free-kick, to overcome that was a really important time and stage for us and I think it shows how far we’ve come over the last three or four years.”
Maguire also spoke about the togetherness in this group of players and how they leave the differences aside from club football when they don the jersey of the national team. “I think the spirit in the group’s incredible. We’re all rivals when we go back to our clubs, but when we come together we’re a big family. I think that the bottom line is, we all want the same thing – we all want to win for our country,” he added.
“We speak about togetherness in the group but, for me, I feel like it’s not just the group, it’s the country, I really do. I feel like the fans are right with us, they have been for the last three or four years. I feel like everyone’s in this together. That’s not just in the group, I feel like it’s everybody. The journey that we are going on is together, and we all want the same thing, we want to win football matches for our country and we want to be competitive again with the best at the top.”
Maguire also spoke about the belief in the camp to deal with any situations. “I think the belief grows over the years that you work together, and you train together. I think a few years ago the belief wasn’t there, when we had that setback in Russia, and I think it’s grown with experience. Like you say, the way that we started against Denmark, the first 15 minutes, I think we started so well, aggressive on the front foot, and obviously we felt the goal came against the run of play,” he added.
“But I think the next 10 minutes after the goal, the reaction from the lads, I think we created two wonderful chances, and we put them under so much pressure that the goal was a matter of time. It was a great goal to score in an important part of the game.”