HomeMaguire: Even Messi and Ronaldo get criticised

Maguire: Even Messi and Ronaldo get criticised

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Harry Maguire is confident he can get his career back on track, acknowledging that even the world’s best players suffer blips in form.

Manchester United centre-half Maguire has endured a rough period and his every touch was jeered during England’s 3-1 win against Scotland at Hampden Park last month – a match in which he scored an own goal.

The 30-year-old recently returned to United’s first team and he believes he can regain the level of performance that saw him named captain at Old Trafford.

Speaking ahead of England’s double-header against Australia and Italy over the next week, he said: “I have had some huge plaudits over the years playing for my country.

“Probably the last year or so hasn’t been like that but the previous five I was getting loads and loads of credit.

“That’s football, that’s the way it works. You don’t just keep playing at the top and not get criticism. That doesn’t happen unless you are the best in the world and that’s probably [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, and even they still get criticised as well.

“There has been a lot of talk about me over the last year. For that talk to happen, you have got to have built your way up to be a top performer like I’ve done over the previous five years to that.

“Things haven’t gone to plan over the last year or so but I am sure it will get back on track.

“A career is a long path. Many ups, many downs, it probably has been a little blip and I am trying to be back to where I was.”

Maguire revealed David Beckham – who was public enemy number one in England following his sending-off at the 1998 World Cup in France for kicking Argentina’s Diego Simeone – reached out to offer support following the Scotland match.

“I spoke with David about three weeks ago, after the game,” Maguire added.

“He got in touch with me so it was really nice of him and I really appreciated that.

“It meant everything. I’ve spoken throughout my career about David Beckham being someone I looked up to and watched when I was a young boy.

“It shows how classy he is to reach out to me and to message me. It was something I really appreciate. It was touching really.

“He reminded me of the career I’ve had to date and the big moments I’ve had.

“I think when you’re going through tough moments you’ve got to go through past experiences and past memories and where you’ve gone in your career and what you’ve been through.

“Every career is so up and down, especially when you reach what I’ve reached, in terms of being the captain of the biggest club in the world for three and a half years. He’s been in that position and knows what it’s like.”

Maguire came close to joining West Ham in the summer but his preference was always to stay at United and fight for his place.

“Regular game time is important to me and has been throughout all of my career,” Maguire said.

“The opportunity to go to West Ham wasn’t agreed between both clubs and myself. The actual opportunity wasn’t there as we didn’t get far enough down the line. West Ham are a massive club. I want to fight for my place but game time is important for me.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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