Jurgen Klinsmann compares ‘leader’ Harry Maguire to Brazilian World Cup winner Lucio, who he managed at Bayern Munich: ‘When it’s not getting anywhere he takes the ball and goes! I like that’
Harry Maguire’s sturdy display at the back in England’s 2-0 win over Germany had Jurgen Klinsmann raving about the defender – and compared him to his former Bayern Munich star Lucio.
Maguire was part of a three-man defence alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker but stood out thanks to his confidence to take the ball into midfield, while also keeping things solid at the back to deny the Germans and keep a clean sheet.
And his display received particular praise from former Germany and Bayern boss Klinsmann, who hailed the Manchester United captain as a ‘leader’ who grabs the game by the scruff of the neck.
Harry Maguire was hailed as a ‘leader’ by Jurgen Klinsmann after his superb defensively display in England’s 2-0 win over Germany
Klinsmann compared Maguire to his former Bayern Munich defender Lucio, saying they both ‘tale matters into their own hands’
Speaking in the BBC studio as a pundit, he said: ‘I coached Bayern Munich and had a Brazilian centre-back called Lucio, he was similar to Maguire.
‘He took the ball into midfield and ran off, we never knew what happened! Harry is similar, a positive lad, a leader and takes matters into his own hands.
‘When it’s not getting anywhere he takes the ball and goes! I like that.’
Lucio was part of Brazil’s famous 2002 World Cup winning team and started the final as they beat France 2-0 in Japan. He enjoyed as superb, trophy laden career – featuring 218 times for Bayern and 136 times in Italy for Inter Milan.
He rounded off his career with a haul of eleven major trophies – including the Champions League and Serie A with Inter Milan and three Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich.
Lucio was recognised as one of the all time great centre-backs who was part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning side
Klinsmann was particularly impressed with Maguire’s ability to charge forwards with the ball
Klinsmann’s fellow pundit Rio Ferdinand gave Maguire similarly glowing praise and said Maguire had brought much needed composure to the team – even though Tyrone Mings had performed well while stepping in.
‘I was concerned they’d be pressed back in the back three, but they all played magnificent, they were tremendous.
‘They haven’t conceded, they’re resolute and rugged. I love Maguire. Mings did well but the composure Harry brings is what’s needed.
‘I like the pace of [Kyle] Walker too – it’s of huge importance to the back line, when they get breached he’s the security.’
Rio Ferdinand praised Maguire’s composure at the back to ensure Germany were frustrated
Maguire has had fitness issues at this tournament but looks to have put those worries behind him after playing the last two games against both Czech Republic and Germany, and paid tribute to the medical staff who have got him ready.
‘It’s been a tough couple of months for myself to miss the Europa League final, questions about whether I’ll be fit. Full credit to the staff to get me ready for this game,’ he said after the game.
‘I feel good and I was tired in the second half. It’s expected. I haven’t trained much. I’m sure I’ll get better and get my fitness to where it should be.’
While it was an impressive individual display from himself, he was keen to highlight the defensive unit as a whole and heaped praise on boss Gareth Southgate for setting them up so well.
Maguire, who was delirious at the final whistle, paid tribute to England’s defensive unit as a whole and also credited England’s medical staff for getting him fit again
‘I think we’ve got excellent defenders in this country,’ he added. ‘Sometimes with all the scrutiny, every goal gets analysed. We have a magnificent goalkeeper behind us. Every time he’s put on the shirt he’s magnificent.
‘The England goalkeeping No. 1 spot is the most scrutinised in world football, it’s not just defenders, it’s a unit it’s a base that comes from Gareth. The forward lads in the way they press.
‘How many times did you see Raheem [Sterling] tackle the centre back? It was incredible. It starts from front and finishes with us. Clean sheets are always nice, but the main thing is winning.