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Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is backing Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford to all bounce back from their European Championship heartache.
The England quartet all featured in the final of Euro 2020, which saw the Three Lions beaten by Italy on penalties at Wembley, with both Sancho and Rashford missing from the spot.
After Harry Kane and Maguire had dispatched England’s first two spot-kicks of the shoot-out, Rashford stepped up to hit the post before Sancho — who joined United in a £73million deal from Borussia Dortmund just over a week ago — saw his effort palmed away by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
As heartbreaking as it was for the pair of them, alongside Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka, to miss from the spot, the aftermath of the shoot-out was much worse, with Sancho, Rashford and Saka all suffering abhorrent racial abuse online.
And Matic has made it very clear that everyone within the United camp will stand shoulder to shoulder with them and offer them their full support.
Matic told United’s club website : “Yeah, of course. The guys are very young and they have a lot of pressure on them when they play for their club or their national team, it’s not easy when you are young to handle all of this.
“But they are strong enough and they will survive everything, and we are always with them. Their life is in front of them, they just have to enjoy their football and I think they will all have great careers and they will be fine.”
As for the football side of things, Matic has also opened up on what he made of the final itself, admitting that those involved in the England squad will have more opportunities to prove their worth on the international stage.
“That’s football [losing on penalties]. It’s always hard to predict what’s going to happen,” added the midfielder.
“In a final, everything is possible; two great teams and everyone wants to win the trophy. It was a nice game to watch and after extra-time, when it’s penalties, everything is possible.
“I’m happy for our guys that they played in a final, and to be second in Europe is not easy.
“Of course, they wanted to win, but they are still young and they will have more chances to show their qualities.”
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