World Cup 2018: Harry Maguire on 'remarkable' rise from fan to World Cup squad

England defender Harry Maguire (centre)
Harry Maguire (centre) made his England debut in the 1-0 win in Lithuania last October

Leicester City's Harry Maguire says a "remarkable two years" have seen him progress from an England fan at Euro 2016 to the 2018 World Cup squad.

In summer 2016, the defender was 23 and playing for Hull City, who had just been promoted to the Premier League.

Asked if he thought if he would go on to represent England, he told BBC Radio 5 live: "Definitely not.

"Hull went up through the play-offs but I wasn't a regular. If I thought I'd be in this position I'd be dreaming."

Maguire travelled to Saint-Etienne with his friends and two brothers to watch England draw 0-0 against Slovakia at Euro 2016 - a photo of the group at the stadium was recently published by the player.

"It was a great occasion to go over and see England play live," the 25-year-old added.

"The atmosphere was incredible and you saw the passion of the fans. I wish I picked the game against Wales though [a 2-1 victory]."

Eleven players who featured in the Euro 2016 squad - knocked out of the tournament by Iceland in the last 16 - have retained their places for Russia 2018. Only five of the current squad played at the Brazil World Cup in 2014.

England's key World Cup dates
2 Junev Nigeria (friendly)
7 Junev Costa Rica (friendly)
12 JuneSquad leaves for Russia
18 Junev Tunisia (opening group game)
24 Junev Panama (second group game)
28 Junev Belgium (final group game)

Asked whether the latest crop go to the tournament without any fear, Maguire said: "You've got a really young squad. Maybe to have had bad experiences isn't a good thing.

"There is no fear in the squad because not many have played in big tournaments. We'll go to Russia and take it on."

The centre-back is likely to play in a back three, rather than the traditional back four he is accustomed to at the Foxes.

Asked whether the system suited him, Maguire said: "Yes it does, although I didn't play in a three that regularly last season.

"A three gives you more of a chance to come out with the ball because you've got more cover. It helps my game.

"Once you've played in a side with three at the back you get to grips with it, so the transition between systems doesn't affect me."

Harry Maguire (at the back of the group) and his friends and brothers
Harry Maguire (at the back of the group) published this Instagram photo featuring himself, his friends and brothers

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