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14th Sep 2023

Rory McIlroy shows his support for Harry Maguire following public criticism

Lee Costello

Rory McIlroy Harry Maguire

“Unfortunately it’s part of our job and being in that public spotlight.”

Ireland sporting hero Rory McIlroy has jumped to the defence of Manchester United defender Harry Maguire following recent criticism thrown at the player.

Maguire has had to endure a lot of public criticism over the past few seasons as his performances have dipped for Man United, and he was eventually stripped of his captaincy.

Now struggling to get into the team under Erik ten Hag, many were surprised to learn that Gareth Southgate still selected him for the England squad.

Maguire played the full 90 minutes against Ukraine in their Euro 2024 qualifier, and although England won against Scotland a few days later, the defender scored an own goal in the process.

This opened the door for even more criticism and scrutiny, something which all top athletes have to deal with, but at a certain stage it goes beyond sport.

Speaking ahead of the BMW PGA, McIlroy jumped to the defence of the United star, and offered his support.

“I’m sure Harry wakes up every morning, goes to work, and tries his best, just like we all do.

“When your life and career are laid bare like that and everyone sees everything…you could make 20 great passes in a game and the one pass that didn’t go quite right is the one that everyone’s going to concentrate on.

“It’s a tough world that we live in, but unfortunately it’s part of our job and being in that public spotlight. We get well rewarded for being in that public spotlight. That’s the way it is.

“I do things that shield me from that, and it certainly protects my mental health. I think more and more sportspeople are getting to the point where they’re doing the same thing.”

McIlroy is a lifelong fan of Man United, so he will have been following Maguire’s career closely in recent years, and like other Red Devil’s fans, he hopes that the Englishman will have a change in fortune soon.

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