Marcus Rashford would relish a last-16 meeting with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the European Championship. Ronaldo scored twice in Portugal’s late win over Hungary on Tuesday and he’s now scored 106 goals for his country, three short of Ali Daei’s international record of 109. If England top Group D they will face the runners-up from the daunting Group F at Wembley in the last 16. That could mean a meeting with Portugal, France or Germany, with the reigning world champions winning in Munich last night.
“TO PLAY AGAINST PORTUGAL WOULD BE A GREAT FEELING FOR EVERYONE IN THE SQUAD, TO PLAY AGAINST SOME OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD, WE WANT TO TEST OURSELVES AGAINST THE BEST,” SAID RASHFORD.
“FOR THE PLAYERS IT WILL BE AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE. CRISTIANO IS AN UNBELIEVABLE PLAYER, IT ALMOST BECOMES NORMAL WHEN HE DEFIES THE ODDS, IT’S JUST THE WAY HIS CAREER HAS BEEN FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.”
Marcus Rashford was just 11 when Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United in 2009. The England striker has been inspired by his former teammate’s development at Old Trafford. Rashford says he is not worried about missing out on a place in the future of the club. The yearold wants to be part of the next generation of players at United.
“JUST WATCHING HIM GROW AND DEVELOP INTO THE PLAYER HE BECAME,”
Rashford said of the inspiration he took from Ronaldo.
“I REMEMBER WHEN HE FIRST STARTED HE WASN’T THE CRISTIANO YOU SEE TODAY, HE WAS A DIFFERENT PLAYER, HE WAS ALWAYS DRIBBLING, TAKING PEOPLE ON, AS TIME WENT ON HIS DECISION MAKING CHANGED, HE TURNED INTO AN ANIMAL, HE WAS SCORING, ASSISTING. HE’S SCORING GOALS LEFT, RIGHT, AND CENTRE NOW.”
If England do face Portugal in the last-16 Rashford will hope to have played his way into Gareth Southgate’s team, having only been a substitute on Sunday.
The United forward accepts competition is fierce with the Three Lions but is determined to play his part in England going deep in the European Championship.
“EVERY SINGLE PLAYER WANTS TO PLAY, BUT FROM THE TOURNAMENTS I’VE BEEN TO IN THE PAST, IT’S CLEAR YOU NEED EVERYONE TO GO A LONG DISTANCE IN A TOURNAMENT,”
“Whether you’re on the bench or starting you have to be ready to come on and do your best, it’s important we keep that mentality.
“YOU WANT TO PLAY EVERY GAME, IT’S ABOUT YOUR REACTION TO THAT IF YOU START SULKING OR NOT TRAINING PROPERLY IT DOESN’T HAVE A GOOD EFFECT ON THE TEAM. WE ALL WANT TO BE PUSHING EACH OTHER, IT’S THE MANAGER’S DECISION AND YOU HAVE TO RESPECT THAT. FOR ME, I JUST KEEP WORKING HARD IN TRAINING AND IN THE GAMES WHEN I DO COME ON OR I START.”