Rashford: Dan is faster than me!
Marcus Rashford insists Daniel James would probably beat him in a 100m race - even though the latest stats show just how quick the England international is on the pitch.
Our homegrown no.10 has an outstanding burst of acceleration, which is envied by team-mates such as Bruno Fernandes, and his explosive turn of speed saw him clock the top four speeds for United players in Premier League games during 2020/21.
Bruno told us recently:
“I think I’m not the slowest player in the world but if I would have the pace of Rashy, honestly, I was Ballon d’Or [winner] already. With the pace he has, oh my God, he’s unbelievable. It’s incredible the way he is and, when I talk about pace, it’s about running with the ball and without the ball, and, at the same time, the pace in his feet. The quality he has, the moves he has and the agility he has to come away from difficult situations. It’s unbelievable.”
However, Marcus responded with typical modesty when asked by Harry C during his fans' Q&A who would win a 100m sprint between him and Wales star James.
“To be honest, Dan would win over 100 metres,” he admitted.
“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.”
When pushed further on the topic by Doreen K from Kenya, and asked whether he had raced the 100m and what was his fastest time for it, the quicksilver forward said:
“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 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.”
Rashford's pace will be an asset for England during the European Championship as Gareth Southgate's men prepare to kick off their tournament against Croatia this weekend, with games against Scotland and Czech Republic to follow.
Similarly, James's speed is a real weapon that Wales will look to utilise, starting in their game on Saturday against Switzerland in Group A.
He and Gareth Bale are key performers with their work on the flanks and are seen as vital to their hopes of progressing to the knock-out stages.
“I work on shooting and crossing with both feet every day,” Daniel told reporters.
“In my early days, I got a lot of my assists for Oli McBurnie at Swansea from the left.
“It's not something that's new to my game. It's always been there. Even for Wales I have played left and right.
“Me and Gaz [Bale] have played both positions before and, if we do play on either side, we are ready and we know our job and roles.”