Inside United exclusive: Being Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford made his debut for Manchester United, one of the world’s biggest football clubs, while he was still a teenager.
He netted twice in that game, against Midtjylland in the UEFA Europa League, and added a further brace three days later, on his Premier League bow against Arsenal.
Now 22, and one of only 54 men who have scored 50 goals for the Reds, Rashford has revealed how he deals with life at Old Trafford in an exclusive interview, which you can read only in the December 2019 edition of Inside United magazine.
“Yeah, it’s a massive privilege,” Rashford explains. “For me, I’ve been at United for many years and the amount of friends I’ve seen come and go is huge, and it just makes you feel, as you say, privileged that you managed to get the opportunity.
“But once you get the opportunity, the hardest thing is staying there. So that’s the challenge.”
Our chat with Marcus was conducted the day after he’d scored the opener against arch-rivals Liverpool, in front of 75,000 people at the Theatre of Dreams.
“It’s a huge feeling,” says the 22-year-old said, when asked to describe what it’s like to find the net for the club he’s played for since he was seven.
“It’s always slightly different but you always get a tremendous rush of blood. It’s always something special. It’s hard to forget those moments.”
So, how does Rashford return to normal life after the final whistle blows and the floodlights are turned off?
"The first couple of games that you play, it can be tough, when you go back home or when you go to the shop,” he explains.
“A simple thing like going to the shop to buy something – it used to take you two or five minutes, but now is like a 30-minute trip to go and get something.
“So little things like that. You just get used to it, you become accustomed to it.”
Of course, for every high in football – a derby winner at the Etihad in 2016, a winning brace against Liverpool two years later – there is an equivalent low.
Our no.10 accepts that life as a professional isn’t always plain-sailing and has his own coping mechanism when results or performances aren’t positive.
“I just try to maintain a level head,” adds Rashford.
“You know, whether you win or you lose, if you try to keep the same sort of feeling and a level head, it tends to help you best.
“So I don’t like to get too down or too high.”
Everyone feels pressure, though, no matter what walk of life we’re from and what we do for work.
So, how does he deal with having the hopes and dreams of millions of fans around the world on his shoulders every time he steps out on to the pitch?
"For me, at Manchester United, they develop you to a stage where you don’t necessarily feel the pressure. It’s more just something that you have to live up to.
“But because you’ve been there for so long, they try to instil it into you to try to live up to the expectations of Manchester United – which, of course, are very high.
“Naturally, if you do live up to the expectations, you don’t have to deal with any pressure. So that’s the way I think about it.”