Harry Maguire has revealed how a personal phone call from David Beckham helped him deal with abuse from fans, which was sometimes so bad his family stayed away from games.
The 30-year-old endured a disciplined evening as a second-half substitute in England’s 3-1 win over Scotland last month, before thousands of home fans cheered him on the pitch before mocking his every touch, including a 67th-minute own goal. .
– Stream on ESPN+: La Liga, Bundesliga, more (US)
Maguire has previously been targeted by Arsenal fans while representing Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium and the centre-back has faced a barrage of social media abuse after falling out of favor for Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.
England boss Gareth Southgate claimed after the Scotland game that “I’ve never known a player to be treated the way he has been” and Maguire revealed that Beckham called to support him days after the game.
Beckham endured a backlash from angry England fans for his red card in the Three Lions’ 1998 World Cup round of 16 defeat to Argentina. A recent Netflix documentary revealed that his father, Ted, was shot in the post, with a statue of Beckham hanging around his neck displayed in a South London pub while David and his wife Victoria later received messages threatening to kidnap their first child, Brooklyn, March 1999. After his birth in
Speaking about Beckham’s call, Maguire, now 48, said: “It means everything. I’ve called David Beckham throughout my career as someone I looked up to and looked up to as a kid.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t score on the right wing and assist as many goals as he did. But he was a big role model when I was growing up. It shows how good he is in reaching out to me and giving me messages. It was something I Really appreciate it. It was really touching
“I don’t want to go too far into the conversation but what he did is remind me of the career he’s been able to date and the big moments I’ve had in my career.
“I think when you’re going through tough moments you have to go through past experiences and past memories and where you’ve been in your career and what you’ve done.
“Every career has a lot of ups and downs, especially when you get to what I’ve reached in terms of captaining the biggest club in the world for three-and-a-half years. He is in that position and knows what to see.
“Obviously watching the documentary I couldn’t believe how much he had been through at that time. In the documentary, Gary Neville talked about how resilient he was as a person. I think he’s a huge role model for a lot of footballers growing up,” especially mine. era.”
Maguire has been a mainstay of the England team under Southgate as they reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, the Euro 2020 final and then the quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup in Qatar.
However, the criticism he has received for United and England has resulted in some family members attending Maguire’s games with less frequency.
“You play football for memories, for a good time for yourself but also for my family and my friends,” he said.
“Any tournament they’ve been to, you’ll probably talk to them and they’ll probably say it’s the best time they’ve had and the best time of their life.
“Obviously last year was a bit tough for them. I would say there have been times where they probably haven’t gone to as many games as they used to, especially away games.
“But I’m sure they’ve had an amazing time in my career and they’ll really talk about it.
“I’m sure in the future — I still have many years left — they’ll have some amazing times, too.”
Maguire started just eight Premier League matches last season as Ten Hag favored Rafael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof and, at times, Luke Shaw in the center of United’s defence.
He has been heavily linked with a £30million move to West Ham this summer but has denied reports he has simply rejected a move despite facing another season on the periphery at United.
“Regular game time is really important to me,” said Maguire, who has started two of United’s 11 matches in all competitions so far this season.
“It’s been there throughout my career. The real opportunity to go to West Ham, it wasn’t really agreed between the club and myself.
“It wasn’t just my chance to say, ‘Yeah, I’m going.’ It wasn’t agreed between both clubs so the real opportunity wasn’t there because we didn’t get down low enough with it.
“West Ham is a big club. But my whole focus is still on Manchester United, I want to fight for my place, but of course playing time is very important for me.”