Marcus Rashford aiming to follow in the footsteps of Manchester United legends Ronaldo and Rooney at the Euros
The 23-year-old is coming off what has been a personally successful but bruising season with United. While he may not have won any silverware with the Red Devils, the summer presents him with an opportunity to make amends.
Rashford is one of Gareth Southgate’s top players heading into the tournament. The Three Lions have failed to win a single major tournament since the 1966 World Cup and are keen to make amends.
“When I was younger, my biggest inspirations were Wayne and Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Rashford is looking back to the 2004 edition of the competition for inspiration. Two youngsters, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo made their names in the tournament, emerging as key players for their nations.
“I remember Wayne Rooney playing his first Euros in 2004. He was only 18 and he was one of my favourite players already.”
Rashford believes Rooney epitomised everything United stood for in the tournament. He gave it his all that summer, leading the Three Lions to the quarter-finals. He was the country’s top scorer with four goals, a tally bettered only by the Czech Republic’s Milan Baros.
A lesson learnt!
“Whatever you thought was good, you need to do better that that.”
Rashford is taken in by the high standards set by Ronaldo and Rooney, and aspires to do just that. The 23-year-old has often found a second gear when needed and will look to do the same this summer. England kicks off their tournament tonight against Croatia later tonight.
“It’s thanks to those boys that my brain works in that way. Those two were definitely my idols.”
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Euro 2004 was the tournament where both Rooney and Ronaldo made their first mark. While the former ended up as the second-highest scorer in the tournament, the latter helped his side to the finals. The duo faced off against each other in the quarter-finals in what was a memorable game.
While Ronaldo led his country to the 2016 European Championship title, Rooney never came close to glory with England. Hopefully, Rashford will enjoy better success with the Three Lions.
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