Harry Maguire

Shocked football fans across the world have expressed their outrage at unruly Australian supporters booing Manchester United captain Harry Maguire at the MCG.

Maguire, 29, has often been the punching bag for frustrated Red Devils fans in recent years – and in the friendly versus Crystal Palace on Tuesday, the defender was booed pre-game and every time he touched the ball in the first half.

United won 3-1, with Maguire one of his team’s better performers versus the Eagles.

The vocal criticism was widely condemned on social media, with many labelling those who booed him ‘disgraceful’.

Teammate Donny Van de Beek backed his skipper post match, stating Maguire should be happy with his impressive showing in the heart of defence.

‘I heard [the boos] as well,’ the midfielder said when quizzed on the issue.

‘I didn’t know really what happened. Harry played really well. ‘He was aggressive, he won so many balls, so that means he has a big personality.

‘He has a lot of experience, so I think that’s positive what he [showed], his performance today.’

Maguire was widely panned last season after United conceded more league goals (57) than they had done in a single season since 1978-79 (63).

Maguire was left out of the United side for a league match after receiving a bomb threat in April, and was booed by England fans prior to a friendly against Ivory Coast in March.

New United manager Erik Ten Hag has stated Maguire will remain club captain at Old Trafford, and he is also tipped to be in the England squad for the World Cup in Qatar this November.

‘Harry Maguire is the captain. He’s an established captain, he’s achieved a lot of success, so I don’t doubt this issue,’ he said.

The Dutch boss later added: ‘Harry is really impressive and I expect a lot from him. I always see the captaincy as an issue that I dictate.

‘The team building for me is an important point and I always talk about a group of leaders. The captain is a really important one and I’m happy with him.’

Maguire will now face competition for his starting spot following the £55million arrival of Lisandro Martinez.

‘I think [Maguire] is (a first-choice player). He’s proved it in the past but he has also to prove it in the present and in the future. I will support him everywhere I can. In the end, he has to do it by himself, and he has the qualities to do it,’ Ten Hag also stated.

Goals from Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho ensured United maintained their 100 per cent winning record in pre-season matches.

United’s next outing is against Aston Villa in Perth on Saturday.

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