HARRY MAGUIRE has paid tribute to England’s penalty takers — and admitted he would not have taken one for his country at such a young age.
Bukayo Saka, 19, Jadon Sancho, 21, and Marcus Rashford, 23, received sickening racist abuse after their misses against Italy.
Harry Maguire has paid tribute to England’s penalty takersCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
England heroes Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka
And Maguire, 28 insisted the racist cowards would never have the guts to step forward.
Maguire, who scored in the shootout, said: “When I was 19 or 20, I would have been standing there saying ‘I don’t want to take one’.
“There is no chance I would have been putting my hand up at their age.
“So look at the courage and bravery of these young lads, look at the age of Bukayo, Jadon and Marcus.
“The things I have gone through have made me more confident and have given me belief.
“I am able to handle those situations better, now I am happy to take one and I executed it well.
“These people who are being abusive would not be able to handle the pressure.
“It is the highest amount of pressure you will feel, so to do it at their age and to show such bravery should be applauded.
Bukayo Saka is consoled by England boss Gareth Southgate after he missed his penaltyCredit: AP
Maguire with SunSport’s Charlie WyettCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
Hundreds left messages of support and kneeled next to a mural of Marcus Rashford after it was defaced and he suffered vile racist abuseCredit: PA
“I spoke with the three lads afterwards. I have checked up with them and seen how they are but they are courageous lads.
“They should be applauded rather than criticised.
“I took a penalty in a play-off final shootout for Sheffield United when I was 19 but doing it for England is completely different.”
Maguire has been sent videos of his penalty smashing a camera in the shootout.
But the Manchester United captain is furious with the nasty side of social media.
He added: “It does not surprise me. For the three lads who have given everything for the country and been so brave to get this is terrible.”
England and Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden tweeted: “We’re all hurting right now but the racist abuse sent to some of my teammates after the bravery they showed on Sunday night is disgusting and has no place in the game.”
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin added: “To the real England fans, thank you for your support this summer and to those of you abusing my teammates for having the courage to step up and take a penalty shame on you, we don’t need people like you on social media or in society.”
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