England defender Harry Maguire said not winning next year’s European Championship would be a failure for the team, after their progress in recent major tournaments.
Manchester United captain Maguire, who has 54 caps, has been a mainstay in England’s defence under manager Gareth Southgate and started every game at the World Cup in Qatar, where they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by France.
Maguire, who was also part of the teams that reached the Euro 2020 final and the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, branded triumph at Euro 2024 in Germany as the only measure of success.
“I believe we have the players to win it,” Maguire, 30, told British media. “I’m with a mindset of, ‘If we don’t win the tournament, it’s been a failure.’ I’ve been at three major tournaments now and I’ve come so close.”
England began their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a 2-1 win over reigning champions Italy on Thursday. They will face Ukraine at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
“Obviously, we’ve got to qualify first from a tough group, we’ve come to Italy and got an amazing result,” Maguire added. “We’re in a good place.
“But these big tournaments are decided on the finest margins. I think we played really well in the World Cup and ultimately, we got knocked out by a good French team.
“So it’s something that we’re working on… We have so much talent and so many young players coming through.”
Maguire has played only 11 Premier League games this season after falling out of favour at United, with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane being preferred at centre back by manager Erik ten Hag, but said he has nothing to prove.
“I want to play every game for my club and my country. I feel like I’m good enough to play at a high level and I’ve proven that over the last five, six years now,” Maguire said.
“Last season was difficult but I’ve proven myself to Gareth, I’ve made over 50 caps… I feel I shouldn’t really need to prove myself at this level.”
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