Mason Mount admitted to Sky Sports, during their live coverage of England’s win over Iceland, that ‘it means a lot’ to him after West Ham United’s Declan Rice scored his first goal for his country.
The Chelsea man also jokingly added that Rice’s goal needs to be checked because the ball came off the West Ham player’s ‘shoulder’ and not his head.
Both players scored on the night as the Three Lions put four past an Iceland side who finished bottom of their Nations League group, whilst they could only muster a third-place finish.
Despite that disappointment, both Mount and Rice couldn’t stop smiling when conducting their post-match interviews after the game.
“They would have been here together [Mason and Rice’s family] tonight if the fans were allowed,” said Mount. “They were here when I made my debut and Dec was playing already in the game, so it’s special memories we are making together.
“As he said, from a very young age, we have been best mates and now making more memories now, so it’s great.
On whether he enjoyed Rice’s goal more than his own (Rice jokingly shouts ‘you better have’ after the question was asked): “Yeh.” laughed Mount. “First goal for him, it’s obliviously special, it means a lot and we will all remember it for a very long time.
“For me to be on the pitch and to be with him when it scored, it meant a lot. He said it came off his shoulder, so I think we need to have a look at that. I don’t know if he meant it. It meant a lot and he will remember it for a long time.”
Gareth Southgate, who has been deploying three at the back, a two-man midfield and three players up top, played both Mount and Rice as his midfield duo last night.
It was a partnership that worked wonders, with Rice doing the defensive work, whilst Mount broke the lines and continually made runs into the penalty area.
From Rice’s perspective, in recent times, he has been criticised for his performances on the international stage, but he’s now coming into his own.