Jose Mourinho claims unnamed player was axed by England for “refusing” to take a penalty at 2018 World Cup

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Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that an unnamed England player was axed from this summer’s Euro 2020 squad after refusing to take a penalty at the 2018 World Cup.

Mourinho wouldn’t reveal the identity of the player, but says he is 100 per cent certain that Gareth Southgate left someone out because of their refusal to take part in a previous shoot-out.

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England just lost to Italy on penalties in the Euro 2020 final, and Mourinho has responded to this defeat by revealing the information he had from three years ago.

“Many times what happens is that players who should be there are not there, players who should be there, they run away from the responsibility,” Mourinho told talkSPORT.

“And because I feel Gareth is such an honest guy and is so protective of his players, I don’t believe Gareth would ever say if ‘Player A’ or ‘Player B’ ran away or hid or said they were not ready to take one.

“Because, don’t ask me who because I will not tell you, but I was told 100 per cent that one player that could be in this team and was not in this team, one of the reasons was in the World Cup semi-final he should have taken a penalty and he refused.

“So sometimes these situations happen and honest people like Gareth don’t expose the player.

“I don’t know in this case, I really don’t know, but I think it doesn’t matter if you’re a great penalty taker or not.”

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