John Terry congratulated Manchester United defender Harry Maguire on becoming England’s highest scoring defender while aiming a dig at Roy Keane.
Maguire scored the Three Lions’ opener in their 10-0 demolition of San Marino on Monday night as Gareth Southgate’ side qualified for the World Cup.
Emile Smith Rowe, Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham and Bukayo Saka added to Harry Kane’s four goals after a Filippo Fabbri own goal had put England two up in 15 minutes.
Maguire’s effort was his second in two games after scoring against Albania at the end of last week, while he took his overall total for England to seven goals, which is a new record for a defender.
It breaks Terry’s record by one goal with the former Chelsea centre-back taking to social media to congratulate Maguire and take a swipe at former Man United midfielder Keane.
— John Terry (@JohnTerry26) November 15, 2021
It was an obvious reference to Keane’s comments at half-time in England’s win over Albania after he called Maguire “embarrassing” for his ear-cupping celebration for the opening goal.
Maguire has received a lot of criticism for his poor displays at Man Utd and his celebration seemed to be a response to his critics.
Keane said: “He’s put his hands to his ears like he’s shutting the critics up, but I think that’s embarrassing.
“He’s been a disgrace the last few months for Man United. He thinks because he’s scored there he’s going to shut his critics up? Embarrassing.”
Following the criticism, Maguire responded, saying his celebration “wasn’t directed at anyone”.
“No it wasn’t directed at anyone,” Maguire told ITV Sport. “It was a knee slide, obviously I put my hands on my ears, but of course it’s not.
“I’m Manchester United captain, of course I’m going to get criticism when the team isn’t doing well. I fully expect that, but of course it’s not directed at anyone.”
Meanwhile, Gabby Agbonlahor has described Keane as a “big bully” for his comments towards the England defender.
“I’ve seen the quotes and the video of it from Roy Keane and I think Roy Keane is being a big bully, there,” Agbonlahor said on talkSPORT. “I think he’s bullying him because Harry Maguire has been under a lot of pressure after some not very good performances for Manchester United.
“This was the next game available to prove that he’s a good centre-half. Yes, it’s Albania but, still, we had a job to do. He scores, the excitement of scoring – you’re going to celebrate.
“If I was going for a run of bad form when I scored the goal, I’d want to do the exact same celebration – hands on your ears to the critics to say, ‘I’m going to try and put in a good performance’, and he did that.
“I thought his defending was very good and he scored a goal. Every time he does something now it feels like everyone is against him. He’s English, he’s the captain of Manchester United. Yes, there’s pressure with that, but he’s probably our best centre-half.
“Let’s get behind him and not always trying to criticise him. For me, it’s bullying from Roy Keane. Everyone sort of jumps on the bandwagon whenever Roy Keane says something.”