Declan Rice says he and his family have been subjected to threats on social media following his decision to represent England rather than the Republic of Ireland.
The West Ham midfielder, 20, earned three caps for Ireland but, due to those being in friendlies, was able to switch allegiance to the Three Lions earlier this year.
Rice, who won his fourth cap under Gareth Southgate in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Bulgaria, was born in London, yet he revealed his change of heart led to unsavoury online abuse being directed towards him and his family.
“Yeah, I’ve had a few bad bits,” he told ITV News. “I’ve had people saying they’re going to come to my house…yeah, online.
“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.
“You click on their profile and they’d just be a fake profile, so I don’t know whether it’s true or not.
@_DeclanRice talks about the threats sent to him and his family on social media since his decision to play for England after appearing three times for Ireland
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) September 9, 2019
“It was tough, there has been some abuse, it was more for my mum and dad really. They were more worried about me than anyone else
“But do you know what? I know, thinking about it now, I was never actually scared about it, because always fans are going to be giving me abuse and whatnot over it. You just kind of look at it and laugh, you think, ‘Yeah, all right, as if you’re going to come and do that type of thing’.
“It was tough, there has been some abuse, it was more for my mum and dad really.
“They were more worried about me than anyone else, I was always quite strong minded.
“My mum obviously with me being her youngest, she was always a bit worried. Other than that, I don’t take any notice of it. I just try to keep focused.”