‘Ron­aldo is my hero. As a kid,

Mar­cus Rash­ford has ob­sessed over striker since watch­ing him in 2003, writes Matt Law ‘If he’s say­ing good things about me, then it really stands out’

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Football -

Mar­cus Rash­ford was only five when he sat in the Old Traf­ford stands for the first time and watched one of Brazil’s great­est strik­ers smash a hat-trick against Manch­ester United. Ron­aldo’s treble se­cured Real Madrid’s pas­sage into the 2003 Cham­pi­ons League semi-fi­nals, de­spite the fact United won 4-3 on the night, but some­thing from that game stuck with Rash­ford and his fam­ily.

Rash­ford’s older brother Dwaine made Ron­aldo his favourite player and the sib­lings grew up search­ing Youtube clips of all his best goals and most mem­o­rable games.

The hours spent on­line must have paid off, as Ron­aldo claimed Rash­ford re­minded him of a younger ver­sion of him­self in the build-up to last sum­mer’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship.

“I used to watch a lot of him grow­ing up, all of his games,” said Rash­ford. “He was ob­vi­ously a top player who won a lot of things in his ca­reer, so when you know he’s say­ing good things about you then it really stands out.

“I watched all those clips on Youtube and my first-ever game that I saw live, he was play­ing in it. It was at Old Traf­ford and I al­ways re­mem­ber it. It was in 2003. He scored a hat-trick. I was five. He was my brother’s favourite player. That’s why I’ve grown up watch­ing so much of him and his games.

“He al­ways played free. No mat­ter where he was play­ing, he ex­pressed him­self. That’s when you play your best foot­ball.”

Rash­ford ad­mits Ron­aldo was one of the play­ers he used to try to

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