THE PAIN of defeat will never completely disappear for Harry Maguire.
Not from the 2018 World Cup semi-final in Russia, when England were 22 minutes away from reaching the final before losing to Croatia.
England and Man Utd team-mates Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw will come back hungrier for the World Cup in Qatar after Euro 2020 final anguishCredit: PA
England were left heartbroken again after losing on penalties to Italy on SundayCredit: Getty
Or from Sunday’s Euro 2020 showpiece when the defender’s team were unbelievably close to winning a first title in 55 years, before losing on penalties to Italy.
Yet Maguire, 28, yesterday named in the Uefa team of the tournament, believes the Three Lions will be even better prepared to return from Qatar next year with the World Cup.
He said: “All the disappointments tend to stick around and you always think about them. I still think about Russia and I will still think about this final for many years to come.
“I wish we could have made it a memorable night. We did everything we could but it was not enough. It still feels raw. I’m still feeling the emotion and I’m still feeling the disappointment.
“To not lose a game over the tournament and not come out as champions is really disappointing.
“But we are in a lot better place compared to after Russia.
“Hopefully we will come back from Qatar in an even better place than now.”
“This tournament we won three knockout games and lost one on penalties. This shows the way we have gone forward as a team.
“We are a young team with a bad experience of losing the final. But we will learn from it.
“For me personally, I felt a lot better playing in the final than I did against Croatia in the semi-finals in terms of my mental state, confidence and belief.
“I am sure if we get to another knockout game, the lads who have got to this tournament will learn and improve. The World Cup is only 16 months away.”
After the devastated players returned into the dressing room at the weekend, Southgate addressed the squad as a group before having individual chats.
The 26-man squad returned to The Grove hotel near Watford where they met friends and family.
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Maguire spoke to SunSport yesterday in the village of Mosborough, on the outskirts of Sheffield, where he grew up.
Reflecting on the dressing room afterwards, he said: “It was really quiet after the game. Not much was said between us.
“Gareth said how proud he was of everyone and it was a really emotional dressing room.
“The boys were just devastated. Gutted. We were feeling the pain of every fan in the stadium and every fan watching at home on the TV.
“It was a disappointing night at the end of a great journey, a great tournament.
“The atmosphere we created and the smiles we put on peoples’ faces is why we play football. We just could not get it over the line to win the tournament.
“Gareth spoke to us individually when we left the changing room. We did not see Gareth or the staff at the hotel. It was more a players and family thing.
“We did not get to the hotel until 1.15am and it went on for a couple of hours. It was nice to see everyone.
“It’s been tough not seeing your families or your kids. I have come home and one of my little ones is walking. I did not see that happen for the first time. It is all part and parcel of the journey.
“Six weeks together is a long time. It is strange waking up and not seeing the squad for breakfast but I am sure I will get used to it!”
Maguire was outstanding, particularly when you consider he missed the first two games as he was still returning to fitness after injuring ankle ligaments against Aston Villa in May.
Now, I am hoping for a good, long season with Manchester United and then next year it is the World Cup. Hopefully we will come back from Qatar in an even better place than now.
Uefa yesterday announced he was in the team of the tournament along with Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling.
The Manchester United skipper said: “It is an individual award which is nice. But it is not the award that I wanted and what the team wanted.
“I’m really pleased with how it went for myself, especially after seven weeks out.
“You were getting people saying ‘he should not even be in the squad’ or ‘he is not match-fit’.
“It was a race to get fit for that third game and I used a prototype therapy device to help me called ProMOTION EV1. I’ve constantly been using it on my ankle over the last month — it provides cold, heat and compression.
“It’s portable so I’ve even used it in my sleep. Obviously, the England and United medics are the best and they too were integral to my recovery.
“I felt little bits of pain in the ankle, especially in my first couple of games. I felt it more then, than in the semi- final and final.
“The progress is really good. I’m getting bigger, better and stronger. When you have a niggly injury you will never be 100 per cent when you come back.
“There will always be a little bit of pain and I managed to put up with it really well in the first couple of games.
“I hope I am sitting here after Qatar in an even better place. In Russia we lost three games of football and won one on penalties.
“Now, I am hoping for a good, long season with Manchester United and then next year it is the World Cup.
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Jadon Sancho was one of three England stars who missed in Sunday’s cruel penaltie shootout lossCredit: Getty
Marcus Rashford’s Manchester mural was defaced by thugs after the final
Gareth Southgate was quick to comfort his young stars who boldly stepped up to take spot kicksCredit: AP
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