Marcus Rashford: Manchester United and England striker says sustain af…

Rashford was racially abused on social media after he missed a penalty in England’s shootout defeat by Italy

Marcus Rashford has said the sustain he received after being targeted with racist abuse following the Euro 2020 final was a “special moment” for him.

The Manchester United striker was targeted on social media after missing his identify-kick in England’s penalty shootout defeat by Italy.

His vandalised mural in Manchester was then adorned with messages of sustain.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Rashford said: “That was nice, it’s something you won’t ever forget.”

In his first interview on the subject since the Euros, the 23-year-old additional: “It’s hard to describe the feeling it gives you, but one thing I’ve always said is that I want to see people act as one in communities and environments and that was one big highlight for me.

“It was a time everyone came together and at all event they thought was the right thing to do, they just did it and it was a special moment.”

Rashford started the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on the bench but was brought on by England boss Gareth Southgate near the end of additional time to take a penalty.

The game finished 1-1, but Italy won 3-2 on identify-kicks with Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka unable to transform from 12 yards for the Three Lions.

‘Different backgrounds, different environments, different religions’

Thousands of supportive messages were left on the Rashford mural in Withington after it had been defaced shortly following England’s loss to Italy

All three players suffered racist abuse, but Rashford spoke of being uplifted by the outpouring of sustain he and his team-mates received.

He additional: “This might sound crazy, but being in the moment and not winning the tournament that you’ve been there for two months trying to win, and just missing by one goal, you’re fully focused on that. So, in the aftermath, you’re not quite tuned into it because you’re nevertheless thinking about the game.

“For me, that was certainly the case. It took a week, two weeks to clear my head and only then did I start taking observe of the different types of people who’ve stepped up and started defending us and spreading the information that racism is not OK.

“I didn’t truly see it properly for a associate of weeks but when I did see it, it was definitely a great feeling for me.

“clearly I was having surgery at the time in addition, so it was nice to see people not only come together, but the rest of us stood together for the same things.

“People of different backgrounds, people from different environments, different religions all saying the same thing and it was nice to see that.”

‘I’m in a much better place physically and mentally’

Rashford has resumed complete training with United after recovering from shoulder surgery

Rashford, who last week received an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester for his work to tackle child poverty, has not played since the loss to Italy because of a shoulder injury.

The problem had been troubling the forward for months and, in July, he spoke of needing to “listen to his body” after a long season that saw him play 57 times for United.

But Rashford says he is feeling “much better” after returning to complete training at the start of the month.

“My recovery is – I wouldn’t say coming to an end because clearly I have to keep looking after it – but I’m in a much better place physically and mentally.

“Last year was a very long season for me, I got this injury at the end of September and little by little it got that little bit worse, but now I’m fully free of that, I feel much better physically and mentally.”

Relishing Ronaldo partnership

Rashford says it is a “great feeling” having Ronaldo back at Old Trafford

Rashford will return to a United team whose attack was bolstered in the summer by the big-money signing of Sancho and the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford from Juventus.

Ronaldo left United to join Real Madrid in 2009, when Rashford was making his way by the club’s academy, and the England forward hopes the 36-year-old’s goalscoring prowess can help the Red Devils end their quest for a first trophy under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“That’s a great feeling for me, as a player, but also as a fan of the club in addition,” said Rashford when asked what it was like having Ronaldo back at the club.

“It’s always nice when a club legend finds a way back to the club. To be playing with him back at Old Trafford is a terrific feeling and hopefully gives us a push to start winning more trophies.”

Everything you need to know about your Premier League team bannerBBC Sport banner footer

Click: See details

Leave a Reply