'Really easy' for Maguire to ignore Man Utd drama while away at World Cup

By Sports Desk November 24, 2022 447

Harry Maguire has kept his focus on England at the World Cup while Manchester United have been making headlines back home.

Despite early upsets and drama at Qatar 2022, United have dominated the news agenda, first with the release of Cristiano Ronaldo and then with the announcement of the Glazer family exploring the possibility of selling the club.

Even by United's standards, it has been a manic week.

But Maguire, who is set to earn his 50th England cap against the United States on Friday, has not allowed himself to worry about developments at Old Trafford.

"To be honest, I think it's been really easy," Maguire said. "I'm here with England, I'm playing at a World Cup, the greatest tournament in the world, so for me to keep the distractions away has been easy.

"I'm fully focused on winning each game I play for my country. There's been a lot of talk going off around the club at the moment, but I'm fully focused on England."

Gareth Southgate was also asked how he could shield his players from such distractions, with Maguire one of three United players in his squad.

"We've talked from time to time about the importance of ignoring those things from outside," Southgate said.

"We actually had the future King [Prince William] come in and talk to us about that. I thought that was a point we couldn't have paid him better to say.

"We've got to just ignore the noise. At tournaments, I think there's always a frenzy of the need for information, the need for stories.

"I've lived through a lot of tournaments now, so I understand the need to stay calm through all of that, focus on the games, focus on the training, on the things you can affect. Keeping your energy for those things is key."

Ronaldo is now a former team-mate for United captain Maguire, having caused the Red Devils no shortage of headaches since revealing his desire to leave at the start of the season.

But Maguire did note the constant criticism one of the game's all-time greats faced during their time together, helping him deal with scrutiny of his own career.

"As a footballer, nobody likes being criticised, but I think it's part and parcel of the game," Maguire added.

"I've played with Cristiano Ronaldo for the last couple of years, and he's one of the greatest players to ever kick a football, and he gets criticised day in and day out. So, if it's going to happen to him...

"In the position I'm in at Manchester United, I think it's part and parcel of the game – especially the position I'm in playing for Manchester United as captain of Manchester United."

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Last modified on Thursday, 24 November 2022 12:39
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