Harry Maguire made his World Cup debut today as England beat Tunisia in the opening match of their 2018 World Cup campaign. It was the first England appearance at the tournament for a Leicester City player since Gordon Banks and it was (almost) as good.
The towering centre back was strong in the air as ever. As important as he was in defence, his impact was felt even more involved at the other end of the pitch. Much like at the club level, most set pieces were aimed his way, and he looked dangerous every time they did.
Ultimately the approach paid off with Maguire’s headed assist for Harry Kane’s late winner. Although, if Jamie Vardy had been on maybe the winner wouldn't have taken so long to come, but obviously we’re not at all bitter about that.
xG map for #Tun-#Eng. Thanks to the ref and the finishing of non-Harry Kane players, this was a very dramatic game. Over on Earth-2 it was 5-0 and people are wondering if this could be the year. pic.twitter.com/mmxEYtzww0— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) June 18, 2018
Of course, Harry being Harry, his play wasn't limited to the ball in the air, and he made a number of his renowned barnstorming forward runs, finding himself on the left wing almost as often as not by the end of the game. His weak foot crossing could still use a little work, but I think we can safely say he’s the tournaments best attacking player.
1: John Barnes vs Ireland in 1990— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) June 18, 2018
2: Harry Maguire vs Tunisia
There's only one way to beat them
Get round the back pic.twitter.com/mTTLwlxLE3
All in all it was a fantastic performance for an established star, let alone a World Cup debutant.
While the other Foxes present (Vardy and Yohan Benalouane) didn’t get to see the field, they still managed to warm our hearts with this pre-game moment.