‘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’
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