West Ham star Declan Rice has revealed how he and his family have been subject to online abuse since deciding to represent England on the international stage.
Rice, born in London with Irish grandparents, committed to the Three Lions in February this year after previously representing the Republic of Ireland at senior level on three occasions.
The 20-year-old has since been targeted by social media users, while threats have also been directed at the midfielder's family.
Speaking to ITV prior to England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo, where Rice could pick up his fifth cap for the Three Lions, he mentioned how online trolls have pestered him ever since he made his decision.
“Yeah I’ve had a few bad bits, I’ve had people saying they’re going to come to my house,” he said. “There’s a few bits I could go into but I don’t need to go into it, threats to my family, threats to me.
“They’re just like, you click on their profile and they’d just be like a fake profile so [you] don’t know whether it’s true or not."
Despite this, Rice added that he never believed the threats would be followed up.
The West Ham midfielder also revealed his parents have been affected by the online jabs, but added that he has taken no notice of the abuse.
It's fair to say that Rice's impressive 2018/19 season certainly displayed his ability to 'block out the noise'.
The defensive-minded midfielder was named on the shortlist for the PFA Young Player of the Year and at West Ham, was named the Players' Player of the Year. His match-winning showing against Arsenal also saw him win the Hammers' Individual Performance of the Season award.
It was these sorts of performances that saw Rice earn his first England call-up and he made his debut against the Czech Republic at Wembley in March 2019.
Even though he didn't allow the online abuse get to him, Rice went on to speak out against the 'trolls' on social media, calling the ongoing racist abuse in football “outrageous”.
“There’s someone behind it but they’re using a fake profile and they’re still getting caught out,” he added. “We’re in 2019 and it’s happening week in week out, it’s not good enough, we need to stamp our authority better.”