VIDEO: Manchester United and England star 'Harry Maguire' reveals Erik ten Hag's message to him ahead of World Cup quarter-final

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire says that his England teammates have real belief that they can win the 2022 World Cup, something they didn’t have in 2018.

Maguire’s comments come just days before the Three Lions face their biggest test so far in Qatar, a quarter-final clash with reigning champions France.

Les Bleus are the second favourites to lift the trophy and retain their title, behind Brazil, and are spearheaded by perhaps the deadliest forward in the world right now, Kylian Mbappe.

Nevertheless, there is a real feeling of optimism from supporters and pundits that England can overcome this challenge, go all the way and finally bring football home after 56 years of hurt.

Maguire certainly thinks it can be done, saying the mentality and ambition in the squad is far greater than it was in Russia four years ago, when Gareth Southgate’s side unexpectedly reached the semi-finals.

‘I think that’s the one thing I’d say that’s a lot different from the 2018 squad to this squad, I think we really believe that it is possible,’ the 29-year-old said.

‘I played in 2018 and we got to the semi-final and I think a lot of the lads were happy. You were happy to be part of the semi-final.

‘You know that whatever happened in that semi-final that you’d go home and be classed as a hero and everyone would be patting you on the back.

‘I think now there’s a belief that we’ve got to win this tournament. It is a good change in the mentality.

‘Of course, we know how tough it is going to be. I think there are probably five or six teams with the same belief.

‘But in 2018, we probably weren’t one of those teams that had that belief. Now there’s five or six who have that belief and we’re one of them.’

The centre-back has been in outstanding form in Qatar, keeping three clean sheets in four starts, especially impressive given how he has been out of favour at club level.

But Maguire also revealed that United boss Erik ten Hag has been sending him messages of congratulations throughout the tournament, perhaps hinting that the Dutchman will put his faith in defender once the season resumes.

‘While I am away, they want me to focus fully on England,’ Maguire added.

Erik ten Hag has handed Maguire just three league starts to far this season.

‘But I have had a couple of nice texts from them saying how well I’ve performed and congratulations on reaching the quarter-finals. It’s nice.

‘I am sure they’ll be watching the games but Erik will be supporting the Oranje army. It is good to feel the support of them.’

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