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United captain Harry Maguire on facing AC Milan and being loud

"I’m loud around the place," the Red Devils' 27-year-old captain tells UEFA.com.

Harry Maguire speaking to UEFA.com
Harry Maguire speaking to UEFA.com

Centre-back Harry Maguire has become a dominant figure at Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the 27-year-old having been made team captain in January 2020, just a few months after joining the club from Leicester City.

The 27-year-old spoke to UEFA.com about his side’s UEFA Europa League prospects, and how he makes his presence felt in the dressing room.

On facing AC Milan in the round of 16

When I was growing up, AC Milan were a massive club. The San Siro is an iconic stadium, so when we got drawn and people told us about who we got, it was an exciting tie. It’s an exciting tie to be involved in. It’s an exciting tie to play in.

Obviously, we’ve got Diogo [Dalot] on loan there as well, so I’m sure a few of the boys are in contact with him. And we know what a great team they are. They’re doing well in the league this year, so we know it’s going to be a tough game.

On being United captain

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It's a huge privilege; I feel so lucky to be able to lead this club and be captain of this club. It's a huge honour. I'm doing everything I can to be a successful captain, and obviously the main thing is to start lifting trophies and start winning football matches on a continuous, consistent basis. I demand a lot. I’m sure you could speak to a lot of players [and they’d tell you that] I’m loud around the place, I’m loud around the dressing room.

[Me and Ole Gunnar Solskjær] have a great relationship. I feel he’s done brilliantly – he's cool, calm, but he's also got the side of him where he can turn when he needs to and when the players need a little telling-off. We’re close. We speak a lot before training, before games. I give my ideas to him and how I feel the group is and the mentality of the group and what we can improve on and where we can go as a club, and he’s exactly the same.

On growing up competitive

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I’ve got two brothers, so we had a competitive childhood in the garden, kicking each other all the time, digging up my dad’s turf. My mum wasn’t too happy, but my dad was a footballer himself, who played in the non-league, and he loves football. The football was always on the TV and we just grew up with it.

Everything we did was so competitive, whether it was football or without football. Losing hurts. It hurts a lot now; it hurt when I was a kid as well. It's hard to bounce back from losing, but you get that with experience.

On United's season

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We’ve definitely improved. I joined two years ago, and people didn’t think we’d get in the top four. We got in the top four. And then you start the next season and people don’t think you’ll get in the top four. But then when you find yourself, let’s say, sitting second in the table, people then say: "Well, Manchester United should be second in the table; they should be challenging for the top." So, everything… it’s just the demands, the demands, the demands.

The mentality has changed. We’re more consistent now. Obviously, it was disappointing to get knocked out in the [UEFA] Champions League, but we've found ourselves in a position in the Premier League where now we’ve got to kick on.