Rashford: I have accomplished a dream
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford captained England for the first time on Sunday - and typically marked the occasion by scoring a goal as Romania were defeated 1-0.
Our Academy product was given the armband by manager Gareth Southgate for his side's final preparation game ahead of Euro 2020. It meant that our no.10 became the 10th player to captain the Three Lions while at United and the country's 125th different skipper overall.
Also, at the age of 23 years and 218 days, our prolific attacker is England's 12th youngest captain, ahead of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Harry Kane. The national team has not had a younger skipper since Michael Owen wore the armband against Slovakia in June 2003, coincidentally at the same venue, Middlesbrough FC's Riverside Stadium.
As if the captaincy in itself was not enough, Rashford scored the only goal of the game with a coolly taken penalty in the 68th minute, awarded for a foul on Aston Villa's Jack Grealish was fouled.
Speaking after the game, Marcus was understandably a proud man, telling ITV:
“It’s definitely a great moment for me.
“It’s something you dream of when you’re a kid and today I managed to accomplish that dream.”
After what was a highly entertaining match, in which his United team-mate Luke Shaw also played 75 minutes, the skipper praised the opposition and outlined why Southgate’s side triumphed.
“It was a difficult game, we had to stick together, they played out well with the ball,” he analysed.
“It was challenging defensively, trying to press and win the ball back. But I think we created a lot of chances, we were good from set-plays, both offensively and defensively, and that’s what won us the game.”
Watch all 21 of Rashford’s goals in 2020/21Video
Before kick-off, some booing could be heard from the stands as the England players took the knee, to demonstrate their stance against racism.
“It’s something that we cannot control,” the United man said, when asked about the incident.
“For us, we believe it’s the right thing to [take the knee] and we’re going to continue to do it.”
Marcus can now look forward to an exciting summer with Euro 2020 edging ever closer. Expectations are high for a star-packed England squad with some experts having them as favourites to win the tournament.
“I think we have to have that self-belief, that self-confidence,” the captain said.
“If we want to win the tournament, we have to improve. So, we’ll keep working.”
UNITED'S ENGLAND CAPTAINS:
Sir Bobby Charlton
Congratulations on your special day, Marcus!