Harry Maguire says anything other than winning next summer’s Euros would be a FAILURE for England as Gareth Southgate’s side try to qualify for Germany and end their tournament hoodoo
- England saw their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign get off to a flying start in Italy
- Declan Rice and Harry Kane ensured 2-1 victory against reigning champions
- Harry Maguire admitted that no triumph next summer would be a failure
Harry Maguire believes anything other than winning Euro 2024 in Germany would be a failure for England.
Gareth Southgate’s side got their qualifying campaign off to an excellent start with a 2-1 victory over Italy on Thursday, with Maguire starting at centre back alongside John Stones.
England, who next face Ukraine on Sunday – live on Channel 4 – are viewed by many as genuine contenders to win the Euros as they continue to progress under Southgate.
Asked if this group of England players would be failures if they did not lift the country’s first trophy since 1966 next year, Maguire said: ‘That’s my mindset. We have got to qualify first, it’s a tough group, but that’s my mindset. I’ve been at three major tournaments now and I’ve come so close. We have the players to win it.’
Maguire played a key role in England’s fourth-place finish at the 2018 World Cup and their run to the final of Euro 2020.
Harry Maguire said that it would be a failure for England if they didn’t win next summer’s Euros
The defender is a stalwart in Gareth Southgate’s side – despite rarely appearing for his club
He was a key figure at the World Cup in Qatar despite a lack of first-team action at Manchester United as England were beaten by France in the quarter-finals. Maguire has only started two Premier League games for United since, but on Thursday won his 54th England cap — as many as Stanley Matthews.
‘We went into Qatar wanting to win the tournament, so when we get knocked out we were disappointed,’ said Maguire. ‘I think the performances were good, we kept the most clean sheets, we were one of the top goalscorers. It’s just those fine margins weren’t with us in Qatar, that can happen in these major tournaments.
‘We have built something as a group and Gareth has been the leader of it. He has been the one who has given us hope and belief as a country to be successful in these major tournaments and for sure we benefit.’
The centre half added: ‘For England, I do feel properly appreciated. Last season was difficult for the club but I have proven myself to Gareth, who works with a wide range of centre backs. He has the choice of all the English centre backs in the country and every time I’m available, I have been in the team. I’m sure if you ask the rest of the lads they know what I bring to the team.
Maguire was part of the England side that agonisingly lost to Italy on penalties at Euro 2020
He was also part of another brutal defeat when they lost 2-1 to France at last year’s World Cup
‘I’m nearly 30 but I shouldn’t need to prove myself at this level. I’ve made over 50 caps and I’m England’s top-scoring defender. I’ve played nearly 200 times for Manchester United, I’ve captained the club for three years but I also understand that when you are the captain of Manchester United you come under the most scrutiny.’
Meanwhile, Southgate believes England’s historic win in Naples, the team’s first against Italy on their soil since 1961, will add to the growing belief that his side are on the cusp of winning a major trophy.
He said: ‘We had to show a lot of resilience and character and coming away from home you are going to have spells where you are going to have to do that. One of the questions for all of us is, “Can we go away to the top teams and get that result?” We have shown that we can.’
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