England stars Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson and Declan Rice have rallied around international team-mate Harry Maguire, who was booed before and during the friendly win over Ivory Coast on Tuesday.
A pocket of fans at Wembley Stadium jeered when the Manchester United defender’s name was announced prior to kick-off, while he was booed again when he touched the ball in the first half.
Maguire has faced intense criticism after a string of shaky performances for United in recent months.
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He was once a firm favourite with England fans after huge performances at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020, starring as they reached the final at the latter tournament before thrashing home a penalty in the shootout defeat to Italy.
“We’ve worked hard to rebuild our connection with England fans in the last few years so to hear Harry Maguire booed at Wembley before kick-off was just not right,” captain Kane wrote on Twitter.
“The fact that he’s been brilliant on the pitch and given us all so many great memories makes it even harder to understand.
“He doesn’t deserve that reception. He’s got full support in the changing room and should have the same from every England fan.”
Henderson echoed those sentiments as he praised "colossus" Maguire.
"I can't get my head around what happened at Wembley tonight," said the Liverpool skipper, who was an unused substitute at Wembley.
"Harry Maguire has been a colossus for England. Without him, the progress made at the last two tournaments would not have been possible. To be booed at his home stadium, for no reason? What have we become?
"What happened tonight was just wrong. As someone who wants to win with England I feel fortunate to share a dressing room with him. We all feel the same!"
Declan Rice, part of an impressive midfield trio with Jude Bellingham and James Ward-Prowse on Tuesday, also called out the supporters who turned on the United captain.
"Total embarrassment from whoever boo’d tonight," he wrote.
"Harry Maguire has been incredible every single time he’s put on the England shirt. Absolute nonsense now it’s becoming. Back your own players. Especially with a major tournament coming up."
The trio's comments follow those of England boss Gareth Southgate in blasting the boos.
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“I thought the reception was a joke, an absolute joke,” England manager Southgate told Sky Sports.
“The way he has performed for us has been absolutely phenomenal. I don't get it. We're either all in this together or we're not.
"He's in an England shirt and not only should you support a player in an England shirt regardless, but when you've played at the level he has for us and put the performances in he has, it should be total commitment behind him. I don't get it at all.”
For his part, Maguire simply said: “Enjoyable week playing for my country.”
Ollie Watkins, Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings scored as England downed Ivory Coast 3-0 to make it nine games unbeaten since their defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
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