KALVIN PHILLIPS backs Harry Maguire to get the last laugh out of all the French fans mocking him.
England fans launched an impassioned defense of Maguire after being told their French counterparts – and even their media – expect star striker Kylian Mbappe to target Manchester United’s center half in Saturday’s quarter-finals.
Phillips said: “Harry hasn’t played as much football this season as he probably would have liked and gotten a lot of racquets, which I think is very undeserved.
“He’s a top professional and a great footballer.
“When he plays for Manchester United he is one of the best defenders.
“For England he has long been one of the top defenders, especially in tournaments.
“He’s always been that player, when we have set pieces or we need to block or tackle, he’s always the first to do it.
“He’s always the first to get his head on the ball. He also scored some very important goals.
“For a lot of people, he’s the first thing they go to because he’s been taunted quite a lot.
“If something bad had happened in the England team, he would be the first person anything would be said about. It is undeserved.
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“If you look at the big tournaments he’s played in and how well he’s done in them, you can’t really scoff at him because he was amazing.”
Phillips also welcomed Maguire’s centre-back partnership with John Stones.
The Manchester City midfielder said: “John is one of the best centre-backs in the world right now.
“The way he plays at City, he brought it to this England team. He seems so comfortable with it. He is very calm on the ball. He defends really well.
“Going forward, he’s probably one of the best central defenders you can have to distribute the ball.
“And his partnership with Harry is amazing. They get along so well. They feed each other and help each other.
“It’s the best centre-back partnership at the World Cup so far.”
Phillips urged English expats in the Gulf region to take advantage of the relaxed immigration rules and come to Qatar.
He said: “You will be one of many who will ultimately make the difference and hopefully play a big part in the story for us.
“I urge you to come out and support us. The support during the group stage was great – especially against Wales.
“The game in Senegal was tremendous for us – and I don’t want to sound too cliche, but the fans were like the 12th man spurring us on. You were incredible.
“Seeing the reactions at home has really given us a boost so hopefully we can keep making them happy, help them celebrate and move on in this tournament.
“So if you have the chance and can get a ticket, make it the first item on your bucket list.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6875366/kalvin-phillips-harry-maguire-england-world-cup-france/ Phillips endorses ‘top pro and great player’ Harry Maguire for last laugh in England v France World Cup clash