Rashford admits to season's struggles
Manchester United's homegrown forward Marcus Rashford has admitted he has struggled at times this season, when honestly appraising a campaign that culminated with the disappointing shoot-out defeat to Villarreal in the Europa League final.
The 23-year-old scored 11 Premier League goals and 10 more in other competitions, including six in the Champions League. One of these was the winner at Paris Saint-Germain, while he bagged a hat-trick in the home victory over RB Leipzig.
Despite showing his customary coolness when converting a brilliant penalty in the fateful shoot-out, the England international was clearly disappointed with his, and the team's display, and has been understandably saddened by sickening racial abuse on social media.
Following an emotional interview with BT Sport at the Gdansk Stadium, Marcus has had more time to reflect and made another heartfelt post on social media.
"I love this club," he stated. "I love my city. This club has been home from the age of seven.
“I'd be the first to say I've struggled this season. It's not about commitment, dedication or ability. The reality is I've had physical obstacles I've had to overcome and I'm still managing.
"That being said, there are no excuses for last night, we simply weren't good enough. I'm really sorry that we couldn't bring the silverware home.
“But, black or white, football is football. We all wear the same shirt. We all kick the same ball. I've been playing this game from the day I could walk. I'm built for criticism of my performance but I can't accept the ape, monkey, baboon, banana, jungle talk. As a United fan myself, it's really difficult stuff to read.
"And I can only think about how this would have made me feel as a seven-year-old reading it. How would I ever have any faith in humanity?
“To all of those that have been encouraging, to the staff at the FA and United who have reached out, for these kind words and those I've read on here, thank you. Your support is never taken for granted.
“I'm 23. I still have a lot to learn and this disappointment will only add to my experience and growth."