Harry Maguire taking inspiration from Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo amid criticism

Harry Maguire taking inspiration from Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo amid criticism

Harry Maguire is inspired by how his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo handles criticism ahead of his 50th cap for England.

The 29-year-old has been the most debated team selection for Gareth Southgate before the World Cup in Qatar.

However, he justified his selection with a positive display in the 6-2 win over Iran on the opening day and is now in line to face the USA tomorrow at Al Bayt Stadium.

Ahead of the match, Maguire addressed the ongoing criticism he receives from both his own and opposition supporters. “Of course, as a footballer, no one likes being criticised,” Maguire said. “But it is part and parcel of the game. I have played with Cristiano Ronaldo over the last couple of years and he is one of the greatest footballers to kick a football.

“Even he gets criticised day in and day out so if it can happen to him [it can happen to anyone]. In the position that I am in playing for Manchester United as the captain then it is part of the game.

“For me, Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest player to ever kick a football and he gets criticised daily so it can happen to everyone. I just go in and do my best and that’s all you can do.”

Ronaldo and Maguire were the two players to receive the most abuse on social media last season according to a study done by The Alan Turing Institute and Ofcom.

It didn’t, however, impact Maguire’s England hopes ahead of the second game in Qatar: “I had great belief over my 49 caps that I earned the trust to be in the squad and be available for selection.

“I go on the training pitch, work as hard as possible, give my all and best and that’s great preparation to go into the game and perform to the best level. I went into the Euros off the back of an eight to ten-week injury so I wasn’t worried about the lack of game time [this time].

“Obviously, I want to play for my club and I will fight to get back into the team so it is not where I want it to be but I feel fresh, worked hard, have done extras on the training pitch so I would be ready to play.”

The defender came off with illness in the 62nd minute, which Southgate has since explained wasn’t a head injury and down to dehydration in the searing desert heat.

Maguire confirmed his availability for Friday evening: “I felt unwell during the second half but I have done all the tests.

“We’ve got a great medical team and I’ve done all appropriate action and felt good. I’ve been on the training pitch in the last couple of games and feel good and ready to go for tomorrow.”

Southgate was sat alongside Maguire ahead of the match and praised his trusted centre back ahead of his landmark appearance.

“It is great for Harry to get his 50th cap and it is well deserved,” the England boss said. “He is a major part of us getting two big major tournament performances and we want this to be the third.”