Must-read interview: Rashford's fans' Q&A
We had the pleasure of spending some time with Marcus Rashford towards the end of the season, and asked him a wide variety of questions that were sent in to us by supporters for one of our special fans' Q&A sessions.
The England international, currently preparing for his country's big Euro 2020 opener against Croatia on Sunday, provided fascinating responses on a whole host of topics, including his trademark trick, the nutmeg, trying to hit the lamppost from distance near his childhood home, plus school and books.
And would he like to enter politics after hanging up his boots?
We also get to find out who his best-dressed team-mates are, how much he's missed Jesse Lingard, and what's behind that link-up down the left with Luke Shaw, which will hopefully be replicated on the international stage in the coming weeks.
"Well, firstly, I’d like to say thank you for the comments Joanne has made. For me, obviously I’m focused on football and want to win trophies and be involved in the biggest games and win the biggest trophies. My aims I think are pretty straightforward really – I want to win the league and Champions League."
Morgan B (UK): What were you thinking before taking the penalty in Paris?
"To be honest, Morgan, the penalty in Paris, because it was so late on in the game, it was just if I score, we go through and, if I miss, we’re out basically. It was a position that you know you find yourself quite comfortable in. You have to be confident in those situations. If you let other things get into your head, you can miss. So it’s just important to stay concentrated and just focused."
Elly B (Thailand): Where did you get all those nutmeg and elastico skills? How much practice goes into them? You've done more nutmegs than anyone else in Europe this season…
"Elly, you must be watching a lot because I never read those stats! For me, when I’m on the pitch, I’m just enjoying myself. I try to play freely and try to open teams up in ways they’re not expecting, just to create space and create chances. It’s just me playing football really and what United have always allowed – me to express myself in that way on the pitch."
Charles N (Kenya): Who do you think was better at free-kicks... Beckham or Cristiano!?
"I would say Ronaldo probably as I’ve seen him more in my era and my generation. But then, at the same time, I’ve watched clips of Beckham and I remember, when I was really young, I used to watch him at Salford, at The Cliff, practising his technique really. Even though they are two really different techniques, you have to respect both of them. They are both top free-kick takers so I’d probably choose Ronaldo, purely based on the fact I just got to see it live more."
"That is a tough question, Daniel. I think an individual is different to a unit. Some teams defend really well as units and it’s teams like Burnley, for example, who do everything as a four. So if one pushes up, they all push up. If one drops, they all drop. It can be, at times, difficult to find space. But then there are some top individual defenders – van Dijk, Ramos. I thought, when we played against Real Madrid in a friendly, that Varane was a player who was quite tough. So there are a few people."
Ravichand M (Singapore): Of all the tattoos you have, which is the most significant one to you?
"My most significant tattoo is probably the one on my left arm for my nana, who died when I was younger. It’s probably that one that means the most to me and is dedicated the most space for one person, so yeah."
Matt D (UK): Do you think you could still hit the lamppost on the other side of the green on Button Lane where you lived?
"Er, to be honest, Matt, I might have to go back and just try it! I’m not sure, It’s something, when I was a kid, that I used to do all the time. When I look back it’s difficult to do from 30 or 40 yards, just striking it off a lamppost and that sort of thing. It’s a difficult skill but I’m sure, if I practised it again, I’d be able to do it."
Lucky A (Nigeria): How do you cope with the pressure of being United’s no.10?
"I think it’s ironic your name is Lucky because I feel lucky. I feel privileged to wear this shirt that has been worn by so many great players in United’s history. You know, for me, I don’t feel the pressure. It’s just about carrying on following in people’s footsteps and people’s journeys really. But I’m my own player. I do things my way. I’m going to improve in my own way, which is obviously slightly different to the other players. They all have different qualities and reached different heights in their careers. Hopefully, I can be here long enough to do that myself as well."
Alison W (UK): You and Luke Shaw seem to have a good bond on the pitch, do you work on that in training or is it just natural?
"I think a lot of it is natural, Alison. I think the qualities that we both have complement each other quite well. More often than not, it’s all about timing: you know you can make a pass look beautiful just because of the timing of his run and vice versa. It’s something we obviously do work on but I think naturally, even when I used to play as a forward, I found myself on the left and always encouraged him to get around me and isolate one person with the two of us and we create chances."
Wade L (South Africa): Do you miss Jesse and do you still keep in touch regularly?
"Hi Wade, we definitely keep in touch. It was something that was a bit strange in the beginning, him not being around the building and stuff. But we’re FaceTiming all the time and when we can see each other, then we do. To be honest, I’m just happy to see he’s happy again and he’s doing well on the pitch and smiling again. I think, as a friend, that is what is more important – just to see him back to being his normal self. Hopefully now, he can carry that on and come back to us and do the same."
"I think of course I’d like to but I think football nowadays, things happen unexpectedly. You can never be 100 per cent sure – one, [if] you’re going to be replaced and the club might want to sign somebody else, or maybe the style doesn’t suit you anymore. Maybe the style of football has changed so there are many things that can change throughout the duration of 10-15 years. For me, I hope to be able to play at this club for as long as I possibly can and retire where I started."
Gabriel H (Nigeria): What do you think about your relationship with our young Academy players that are relatively new to the first-team squad?
"Yeah, Gabriel, I think it’s important just to let them settle in as quickly as possible. Obviously, you have to have talent to be at the club and talent to train with the first team. If they have then I just don’t think the manager would get them to train with us if he doesn’t believe whether now, or in six months’ time, they’re going to be ready to play in the first team. I think they have to take a lot of confidence from that and just be themselves. We have seen what they can do in the Academy and Under-23s so just be the same player, the same person but work even harder and there is no reason why they can’t play a part for us in the season."
Adedoyin A (Nigeria): Do you prefer beans on toast or egg on toast?
"Beans on toast or eggs on toast? For me, Adedoyin, it’ll probably be eggs on toast. It’s what I have for breakfast most of the time: some fried eggs on brown toast. For me, eggs on toast."
"I listen to a bit of different music, Hamisi, most of the time it’s UK music and UK artists. I like rap music and like to listen to American artists as well, this generation is a little bit different. Definitely, that’s the music I enjoy listening to and, more often than not, it’s the UK music."
Jack W (UK): What music/bands were often playing in your house when you were growing up? Also, are there any artists/bands you’re into that people might not guess that you are?
"Yeah, Jack, I’d probably say the main people I listen to are Lil Baby, Santan Dave, Stormzy, Bugzy Malone, Chipmunk, Roddy Ricch, A Boogie. Just a mix of some American with some British artists."
Danivers M (Kenya): Who has the best and worst dress sense? Who would you pick to choose your wardrobe?
"Danivers, the best and worst depends on what style you’re going for. If you’re looking for a smart style, Nema is always quite smart. If you’re looking for more comfortable and a more free sense of style, I’d probably say Paul. To be honest, everyone comes in and it’s about working hard and going home so usually it’s people just wearing the most comfortable things."
Nimrod P (Hungary): Hi Marcus! I'm an U11 goalkeeper in a local club in Budapest. I'd like to know how you deal with any mistakes during a match situation. How do you move on instantly and concentrate fully on your next move without loss of any confidence?
"I think the special thing about football is, if you actually watch the games, it’s a game of mistakes. When someone scores a goal or when a goalkeeper saves a goal, there is usually a mistake at some stage of the build-up, and that’s where the opportunity has come from. For me, sometimes you are going to make mistakes but that doesn’t mean you give up or quit. You must stay concentrated, stay focused and try not to make the same mistakes two or three times in a game. If I make a mistake, I try to go back to basics, do the simple stuff and build your way back into the game."
Harry C (UK): In a race over 100m who would win: you or Daniel James?
"To be honest, Harry, Dan would win over 100 metres but we’ve never actually raced that far. It’s quite a big distance but he’s one of the quickest in the squad so I’d probably say Jamo."
Doreen K (Kenya): Have you ever raced 100m before and if so do you know your fastest time?
"I have run it before when I was young. I think it was 11 something, 11.4 maybe, but it was when I was quite young – 15 or 16. But, yeah, I enjoy athletics. I think a lot of what we do in football, the type of running we do, it’s never a straight line like a 100 metres. You’ve got to be able to chop and change direction and it’s not something I practice a lot."
Ran C (USA): Good day Marcus, is there any aspect of your game that you’ve been working on that you feel will take you to the upper echelon of world strikers?
"I think, for me Ran, it’s just about improving the things I’m good at. I want to get even better at things that make me score goals and assist things, to keep on improving and to give the team more opportunities of winning games. It can be positioning, runs, different types of runs, movement in the box and then finishing techniques. So there’s a wide range of things I try to improve on and will do that throughout my whole career."
"Yeah, I think it’s massively important and something I’m obviously working on and trying to promote and get kids to engage a little bit more. It’s just about giving kids who don’t have the opportunities, like you said, that opportunity of at least having the option to pick up a book and read. It’s one of the challenges I’m facing at the moment and something I’m trying to improve on."
Keith P (UK): What is your favourite book?
"Hi Keith, my favourite book is called Relentless and its more just for the mental side of things. I felt, when I read that book, it helped me to mature a lot and, in terms of sports, it made me a little bit more solid in my mentality. Probably a little bit like the question we touched on before, the things about making mistakes and stuff – you can’t let it get to you. It’s a 90-minute game and one mistake can drag out for 15 minutes and, before you know it, it’s half-time and you’ve not been in the game for the last 10-15 minutes. So, yeah, I just try to stay focused. I like to read, to be honest, in my spare time, whether it’s just a few pages or 20 pages, I just get a little bit of reading in as it’s good for my mind."
Allen D (UK): Can you see yourself ever entering politics, Marcus?
"Hi Allen, the answer to that is no! I just feel like the people who want to do politics, it’s what they dream of doing and the job they wanted to do from when they were young. I’ve been lucky enough to get the opportunity to live my dream through football and I think, after that, football is a draining game and a mentally challenging sport. So when I do retire, I’ll just relax a little bit and then we’ll see what happens."
Niles T (South Africa): How was your time at Ashton-on-Mersey [school] and why is education so vital for every youngster?
"Niles, school was obviously important for me and I think the club just helped me to realise that importance really, because not everyone is going to make it to the top level. Not everyone is going to make it in football in general. There are no guarantees so you have to make sure you do your schoolwork and get the grades and either get to university or get a good job to support yourself and the family."
Sam P (Ireland): Is Mata the nicest guy in football?
"Sam, Juan is one of the nicest guys I’ve met. I think he’s a great guy and not only a great guy but a great player on the pitch. He’s top with the young lads as well, always speaking to them and always giving them advice. And, yeah, he definitely helped me when I first came into the team. He’s not changed from then. He helps the young ones that are coming through now and he’s an example of what a footballer should be like."