Kobbie Mainoo


Manchester United had players in international action all over the world this month, with friendlies the order of the day a few months out from Euro 2024 and the Copa America.

A number of individuals like Luke Shaw, Casemiro and Altay Bayindir missed out on call-ups altogether because of injury concerns, but for most others it was a promising experience – Lisandro Martinez even linked up with Argentina with permission to train as part of his recovery.

Here’s a look at the main winners and losers from the March international break…

Kobbie Mainoo

Kobbie Mainoo looked at home on the Wembley turf / Alex Livesey – Danehouse/GettyImages

Just 23 games into his senior club career, Mainoo is now a full international too. The 18-year-old’s rise in recent months has been meteoric to say the least and, with Euro 2024 on the horizon, he looks as though he could have just as much impact on England’s team as he has had with United.

Mainoo appeared off the bench as the Three Lions lost narrowly to Brazil at Wembley and was then upgraded to the starting lineup for the visit of Belgium three days later.

Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford played 15 minutes across two games / Robin Jones/GettyImages

While United teammate Mainoo was earning the plaudits, Rashford was a peripheral figure for England. His club form has taken a big hit this season and it threatens to affect his England chances, brought on for the final 15 minutes against Brazil and then not used at all against Belgium.

Reports even suggest that his place in th final Euro 2024 squad could be under threat.

Harry Maguire

Injury prematurely ended Harry Maguire’s international break / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Maguire has knuckled under and gone some way to restoring his reputation at club level this season, which says plenty about his character and determination when a proposed transfer to West Ham United was close to ending his time at Old Trafford last summer.

His England place has never really been in doubt and he started against Brazil as expected. But his night ended after only 67 minutes and a scan the next day revealed a suspected recurrence of a recent hamstring injury. Maguire then left the camp altogether to recover back in Manchester.

Alejandro Garnacho

Alejandro Garnacho made his first international start / Omar Vega/GettyImages

Garnacho was first called up by Argentina in March 2022, two months before he made his senior club debut for United. His international debut finally came just over a year later in the summer of 2023, but it has taken until now for the 19-year-old to land his maiden start for his country.

After playing the second half of a friendly win over El Salvador, the winger lined up from the start against Costa Rica in an Argentina side captained by former United player Angel Di Maria.

Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes scored & assisted agains Sweden / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

The United captain’s importance to Portugal was underlined this past week. Fernandes scored and assisted as his country thrashed Sweden 5-2 to make it 11 consecutive wins since being knocked out of the 2022 World Cup by Morocco.

That he wasn’t on the pitch, or even in the squad for the game against Slovenia, which ended in a shock defeat, only showed how much Portugal need him.



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