Nemanja Vidic praises Harry Maguire ahead of England's Euro 2020 semi-final

Harry Maguire is gearing up for England’s Euro 2020 semi-final with Denmark.

He has played three games of the tournament at the heart of a defence which is yet to concede a goal.

That has seen him draw praise from a man who knows what it takes to captain Manchester United from centre-half – Nemanja Vidic.

Vidic told the Athletic that Maguire looks even more confident for this country than his club and hailed his all-round game.

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“This England team is built on defence, on the collective rather than brilliant individuals. England’s defenders are not the best in the world, but they are a strong collective and have balance,” said Vidic.

“Harry Maguire looks confident and comfortable, even more for his country than for Manchester United. He’s a defender who is still improving, but if he wants to be recognised at the highest level he has to win trophies.

“When I look at Maguire I see a defender who is good at everything, 8/10 at everything. He’s not as good on the ball or as fast as Rio Ferdinand was for example, and he doesn’t tackle or head like I did.

“But he has quality across his game. He’s fast enough, he’s strong enough, he can jump and play the ball, his positioning is fine.”

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There was also praise for United and England teammate Luke Shaw: “He has suffered from injuries but was one of United’s best players last season.

“We always knew Shaw was dangerous in attack but he’s improved a lot defensively, especially his positioning and especially when his team play three at the back.”

Maguire was forced to watch from the sidelines as United lost the Europa League final in Gdansk.

That would have been an incredibly sour note on which to end the season, but Maguire has had another shot at glory this summer,

He’s done exceptionally well to get back fit on time and then to slot straight back into the team without any signs of rustiness on the global stage.

Maguire recently told Gary Neville that England’s 2-1 World Cup 2018 semi-final loss to Croatia is his biggest regret. Tonight, he has the chance to avenge it.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.