Rio Ferdinand hails England 'man mountain' after Euro 2020 win over Ukraine

Rio Ferdinand reserved special praise for Harry Maguire after England cruised into the Euro 2020 semi-finals and said the defender ‘looked like a man mountain’ in the side’s emphatic 4-0 victory over Ukraine.

Maguire missed England’s two opening group games through injury but returned against the Czech Republic and has been one of Gareth Southgate’s standout players since, with the side yet to concede a single goal at the tournament.

As well as providing a reassuring presence at the back, the Manchester United captain has proved a goal threat at the other end of the pitch and doubled England’s advantage with a towering header just after half-time at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico last night.

A resurgent Harry Kane also scored a brace and Jordan Henderson netted for the first time for his country on a memorable night for a Three Lions team bursting with confidence at the best possible time.

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Southgate’s men return to Wembley on Wednesday to take on Denmark, who saw off the Czech Republic in yesterday’s other quarter-final to book their spot in the last four of this summer’s tournament.

‘Harry Maguire looks so comfortable at international football,’ former Manchester United and England centre-back Ferdinand said on BBC Sport following England’s comprehensive quarter-final win.

‘In an England shirt he looks like a man mountain to me. He comes out with the ball and picks the right passes.

‘He always tries to come out, bring someone to him and then play the ball and that is the difference.

‘He wants to commit someone and that is the difference between him and other centre-backs.’

Speaking to BBC Sport shortly after the final whistle, Maguire said it was a ‘great feeling’ to reach a second semi-final in three years but underlined that England must quickly turn their attentions to the challenge that awaits versus a dangerous Denmark side.

‘It’s a great feeling. Back-to-back semi-finals at a major tournament,’ he said.

‘It’s a great achievement but we don’t stop here. We’ve got another big game coming up and we want to go further this time than we did at the World Cup.

‘Of course it’s a great feeling to win here and the way we’ve done it as well shows the big progress that we’re making as a country so long may the improvement continue.’

Maguire added: ‘We have great belief in the dressing room.

‘The first half was tough, we got the early goal we wanted and they caused a few problems with their shape and they changed it a few times in the first half.

‘But the second goal settled us down a lot and from then on we controlled the game really well and got the third and fourth which I think we deserved on the night.

‘It was an impressive performance in the end and now we’ve got to rest, recover and we’ve got another big one coming up.’

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