Maguire: My dad claimed he scored 200 in a season!

Daniel James and Harry Maguire have both enjoyed great success in their first seasons with Manchester United, after joining the club last summer from Swansea City and Leicester City respectively.

Maguire has played every minute of every Premier League match and assumed the captain's armband, while James began his time in M16 with a famous debut goal against Chelsea and has made an impressive 37 appearances in his maiden season with a top-flight team.
 
The pair have each made divergent journeys to Old Trafford, and they revealed many of their different influences in the latest of our 'My Inspiration' series, in which players credit those who have motivated them on their path to the top.
 
As you can read in our Q&A below, inspiration inevitably comes from both the leading lights of the game, but also from unsung figures closer to home...
Who inspired you to first play football?

James:
“There are a few players that obviously come to mind. I think, growing up, I always liked Juan [Mata]. It’s a weird one because, when I first signed for United, meeting him, he’s such a great guy and it was surreal for me to meet him. He was playing for Chelsea in those days when I was watching. Him and [Eden] Hazard together, I always looked up to them two. 
 
“Ryan Giggs, who is obviously my manager for Wales, is always someone I look up to. Not just from the career that he had, but the way he went about it. He played for Manchester United for over 20 years. To play at the top level for that long, to play until you’re 39 or 40, still in the Premier League at the top level, you rarely see that in the game and there’s not many players who are going to do that ever again. To do that, he’s someone to look up to. I’ll say Thierry Henry too, for the things that he did. But probably Ryan Giggs most out of them all.”
Maguire:
“I’d say my inspiration is my dad. He always told me how good he was, back in the day! I’m not too sure how good he was. I’ve seen some videos and he’s got some old newspaper articles which showed me he’d scored 200 goals in a season, or something like that. I don’t know what team he was playing for! He was my manager playing as a young boy in a Sunday league for Brunsmeer. 
 
“He’s the one that has always pushed me, motivated me and took me up and down the country when we used to go to Newcastle on a Sunday morning or travel away. So I’d say he’s the one who has been my biggest inspiration, and my biggest critic as well. After games, if I don’t play too well, he still messages me now if he feels like I can improve. His support over the years has been great and I’m incredibly thankful.”
 
Is there anyone outside of football who has inspired you?
 
James:
“My dad always inspired me to be a professional footballer. He always believed in me, so I’d probably say him.”


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