LONDON: Watching Brazilian striker Ronaldo score a Champions League hat-trick for Real Madrid against Manchester United 14 years ago provided a lasting inspiration for Marcus Rashford, the England forward said on Monday.
Speaking before England host Brazil in a friendly at Wembley on Tuesday, Rashford said he was a five-year-old spectator at Old Trafford when Real knocked United out 6-5 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.After the game, he and his brother Dwaine began scouring YouTube for clips of the Brazilian.
“It’s all those clips and my first ever game that I saw live, he was playing in it. I always remember it. It was in 2003 and he scored a hat-trick,” Rashford, who has netted seven times for United in all competitions this season, told British media.
Rashford came in for high praise from Ronaldo in the build-up to last year’s European championships, when the Brazilian World Cup winner said the 20-year-old Englishman reminded him of his younger self.
“He was my brother’s favourite player — that’s why I’ve grown up watching so much of him and his games. So when you know he’s saying good things about you then it really stands out,” Rashford said.