Rashford hopes to get one over on McTominay and Sir Alex
Marcus Rashford believes going head-to-head with childhood friend Scott McTominay when England and Scotland play on Friday night will be an ‘amazing achievement’ for the pair and the club.
It’s the first clash between the age-old rivals in the finals of a major tournament since June 1996, when a Paul Gascoigne wonder goal helped the Three Lions to a 2-0 group-stage victory at Wembley.
Rashford and McTominay weren’t even born back then, when England last hosted games in the competition and ultimately made it to the semi-finals, before losing to Germany.
Now Gareth Southgate’s men are hoping to go even further and will secure a berth in the last 16 with a win at the national stadium.
Marcus is eagerly anticipating playing on such a big stage, against someone he’s grown up with, but there won’t be time for sentiments as he has his sights firmly fixed on repeating the triumph of 25 years ago.
“I spoke to him [McTominay] the other day,” Rashford said. “It’s going to be a different experience for us but it’s definitely one I’m proud of.
“I'm pleased for Scott and his family. We've been playing together since we were kids – eight, nine, 10 or 11 years old – so to be playing each other in one of the biggest competitions in football is an amazing achievement.
“I’m just looking forward to it, but hopefully we win!”
One keen observer on Friday will be Sir Alex Ferguson, who managed Scotland at the 1986 World Cup and will no doubt be cheering on the Tartan Army.
Rashford revealed he had recently spoken to our legendary former boss, although not about the game – which is perhaps for the best, considering the loyalties involved!
“Sir Alex will definitely be upset [if England win] - he's a passionate guy,” Marcus added. “We have to do our best to try to win the game.
“We’re fully concentrated on the game and will do our best to get the three points. I've not recently [been in touch] but I was speaking to him recently when he brought his film out and that was the last time I spoke to him.
“What a person, what an individual. There's only good things I can say about Sir Alex from my own experiences and just watching him closely growing up.”
Rashford has faced Scotland previously, playing 65 minutes of a frantic 2-2 draw at Hampden Park during qualifying for the last World Cup.
An injury-time equaliser from Harry Kane rescued a point for Southgate’s men after Leigh Griffiths’s late double had sent the home fans into a frenzy and it was an occasion Marcus remembers well.
“I think, in football, everyone wants to beat everyone but there’s some games where it’s how the game’s being played and then there’s the atmosphere and the crowd and how much you actually want to win it all comes together and there was something unique about that game.
“It’s similar to games I’ve played for the club against Man City and Liverpool. Those type of games, you have a different feeling. You can’t really put a finger on it about what’s different.
“As a player, you approach every game the same. The build-up, fans, energy: It’s a different game and I’m definitely looking forward to it.”