11 July 2024

Kobbie Mainoo determined to cap remarkable rise by making history with England

11 July 2024

Kobbie Mainoo is aiming to complete a remarkable rise to the top by helping England put themselves in the history books.

Gareth Southgate’s side face Spain in Sunday’s Euro 2024 final after Ollie Watkins hit a last-gasp winner to down the Netherlands 2-1 in Dortmund.

The semi-final success was the third game in a row in which England scored after the 80-minute mark as they reached a second straight European Championship final.

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Mainoo once again impressed in midfield having started all three knockout games in Germany, with the 19-year-old belying his young age and lack of experience to shine on the big stage.

“It’s an indescribable feeling,” he said of his personal journey, having only made his full Premier League debut for Manchester United in November.

“It’s happened quickly, but I’ve just been taking it day by day, game by game, and yes now we’re in the European Championship final.

“We’re all buzzing, it’s been such a journey to get here. I feel like we’ve built on our performances that we’ve had leading to this point and I feel like the only way is up, time to put ourselves into history.

It's happened quick, but I've just been taking it day by day, game by game

“I feel like in the first half it was clicking with the whole team, everyone was getting on the ball. Me, Phil (Foden), Dec (Rice), Jude (Bellingham), I feel like we had the game under control in middle of the park and feel like the second half we had to grind out.

“It was very tough but the whole squad was a help. I mean, the impact off the bench from Cole (Palmer) and Ollie. I mean, what a finish, what a way to end it.”

Spain, who in 16-year-old Lamine Yamal boast their own precocious talent, await in Berlin as England look to win their first major men’s trophy in 58 years.

“Everyone has seen that they are a good side and have taken down some big teams,” Mainoo told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“But I feel we’ll be ready for that. I feel like we’ve built up so much now, building on performances and now the only way is up, and we’re going to be ready for that. We’re going to give it everything.”

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