Gareth Southgate highlights the moment Manchester United's Harry Maguire hit another level
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire scored as England reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals with a routine 4-0 victory over Ukraine.
Gareth Southgate has praised Manchester United captain Harry Maguire for emerging from a testing spell to reach another level for club and country.
Having missed the end of the 2020/2021 domestic campaign through injury - including the Europa League final - the defender is now back at the forefront as England continue to dream of Euro 2020 glory.
Indeed, Maguire was on target as the Three Lions swept aside Ukraine in the quarter-finals to set up a return to the national stadium, Wembley, for a last-four meeting with Denmark.
Rewind the clock and this latest success comes after Maguire was sent off in a crucial Nations League contest with the same opponents last October, while he was also convicted of assault by a Greek court. He has appealed the verdict.
That would have been a severely testing time for any professional footballer.
However, in the case of Maguire, those on and off-field incidents have provided a catalyst for United's captain to hit new levels in his game and maturity - according to Southgate.
He said: "We're in touch with the players quite a lot when they're not with us, as much as we can.
"I try to respect the clubs and not interfere, but there are obvious times when things have happened and they need more support. The beginning of this season was very difficult for Harry on a number of fronts."
Southgate added: "So it's brilliant to see how he has emerged with so much more confidence as a leader. You can see that within the group. Being captain of Manchester United is a massive challenge, a massive responsibility, but it's brought a lot more out of him.
"You can see he's more confident in himself and has gone on to another level, not just his game but on his maturity."
England take centre stage at Wembley on Sunday night (8pm) when they meet a Denmark side who have been galvanised by Christian Eriksen's tragic withdrawal from their Euro 2020 opener - when he suffered a cardiac arrest on-field.