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Euro 2024: Maguire says England victory ‘would mean everything’

Defender hopes experience of falling short in last three tournaments will help them in Germany this summer

Gareth Southgate

Harry Maguire says ‘it would mean everything’ if England’s man can end their 58-year wait to lift silverware.

The Man United defender is in a race to prove his fitness after missing the end of the Premier League season and FA Cup Final with a muscular injury picked up in training.

England have warm-up games against Bosnia on Monday, June 3 and Iceland four days later as they build-up for their European Championships Group C opener against Serbia on Sunday, June 16.

The 31-year-old defender was part of the England team which suffered semi-final defeat against Croatia in the 2018 World Cup, lost the Euro 2020 Final against Italy on penalties and then lost to France in the 2022 World Cup quarter final.

Maguire told Sky Sports the experienced England squad could handle the pressure and hoped to make the country proud, saying: “We haven’t lifted a trophy in a long time – but we’ve been close.

“It’s a good time to be an England player, we feel we’re in a good moment and it’s a tournament I’m looking forward to – we’re going there to win.”

Maguire feels England might have already ended their trophy drought which dates back to the 1966 World Cup on home soil.

“I think all three of the games we’ve lost in those tournaments could have gone either way,” he said. “Playing a tournament is totally different to playing league football – it’s built on moments and you’ve got to make sure you’re there within the game to let the moments take over.

“That’s where your big players come to play and produce those magic moments.

“You just need to make sure you’re there to make it and perform on the day to give yourself an opportunity to go and win.”

There are no bigger players for England at present than Jude Bellingham, the 20-year-old midfielder who has enjoyed an incredible debut season at Real Madrid.

Maguire revealed he recommended Bellingham to Man United after seeing the former Birmingham youngster in England training.

He said: “Jude is an amazing player – a real big leader, a great personality and obviously very talented on the pitch.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Jude, he came to England and I knew within one or two sessions how he’d go.

“I went back to my club and I told them all about him but he took a different path and he’s done really well for Real Madrid. I knew he would when he signed there and long may it continue.”

Picture of Alex Hoad

Alex Hoad

Alex has more than 15 years' experience in sports journalism and has reported on multiple Olympics, World Cups and European Championships in additional to Champions League, Europa League and domestic football.