Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has insisted that he is trying to keep his feet on the ground despite his meteoric rise in recent months.
Rashford announced himself on the world stage with a brace on his Man United debut against FC Midtjylland in February and the 18-year-old hasn’t looked back since.
Rashford scored eight goals in total for United during the 2015/16 campaign and he is now representing England at the European Championships following a surprise inclusion in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for the tournament. The youngster admitted that his rise to prominence has been “amazing.”
“Back then [at Christmas], I was actually trying to work my way into the U21 side and, all of a sudden, I appeared in the first team,” Rashford said.
“You have to be ready when your chance comes. To be honest, I wasn’t really thinking about the England set-up as much because obviously, at United, there were a lot of games coming thick and fast. All of my focus was on those games. At the end of the season, you hear talk and stuff but to be here now is just amazing.”
Rashford also enjoyed a memorable debut with the national side, scoring just minutes into his debut against Australia recently.
Asked about breaking into the England squad, Rashford said: “To be fair, I tried not to think about it too much because that’s probably where the pressure and stuff starts to get to people’s heads and affect their performance. For me, I was just concentrating on playing how I’d been playing and, all of a sudden, the goal came. It’s a good way to start.
“When I first went into the changing room and saw all of the players’ names on the back of their shirts, it didn’t seem real. I remember going home after and speaking to my brother about it, and he agreed with me – he didn’t think it was real either. That’s what it’s like until you get used to it.
“When I was a kid I used to be doing those things myself [displaying flags in houses and cars], so for it to be in my hands to go out and help the country is an amazing feeling.”
Rashford will find it difficult to force his way into the England side ahead of players such as Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane but he hasn’t been at all fazed by his rise so far and he will no doubt grab his opportunity at the Euros if it is presented to him.
His story really is a remarkable one and it could yet end with glory in France.