Rory McIlroy praises 'great leader' Harry Maguire 3 months ago

Rory McIlroy praises 'great leader' Harry Maguire

"The sort of personality that you would want to captain a football team."

Rory McIlroy has praised Harry Maguire and said that the Manchester United captain is a "great leader" and a "great motivator."

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With the Premier League on a winter break, several players have headed to the Gulf to take part in a pro-am golf tournament at the Dubai Desert Classic, including Maguire and his England teammate Jordan Pickford.

Man United supporter McIlroy crossed paths with the Red Devils captain at the tournament and was full of praise for him.

McIlroy Maguire

Rory McIlroy: Harry Maguire "seems like a great leader."

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Maguire has been frequently criticised by pundits for his performances this season. Former Man United captain Roy Keane, in particular, has castigated the defender on several occasions.

After Maguire scored for England against Albania in November, he cupped his ears in celebration. Keane said Maguire's celebration was "embarrassing."

"[He] puts his hands up to his ears. He's like 'shutting the critics up'," the former Ireland midfielder said.

"I think it's embarrassing. He's been a disgrace the last few months for Man Utd. He thinks if he scores there, he's going to shut his critics up. Embarrassing."

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McIlroy Maguire

McIlroy, however, is a fan of Maguire and was significantly more sympathetic towards the Man United captain.

"I saw him on the range this morning," the Northern Irishman said. said.

"I was rushing to the first tee because I was late so I didn’t get a chance to see him hit any.

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"It’s great to have those lads out here. [Maguire] seems like a great leader, seems like a great motivator, the sort of personality that you would want to captain a football team and someone you look up to.

"He's actually a lot bigger than I realised standing beside him. Like standing next to him, he's a big lad. I wouldn't want to get tackled by him, that's for sure."