Marcus Rashford looks up to Cristiano Ronaldo for inspiration

The English forward was all praise for the Portuguese legend, who started the Euro 2020 with a bang, scoring two late goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo in a file photo; Credit: [email protected]

England forward Marcus Rashford only had kind words to describe Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo as the 23-year-old admitted that he still looks up to the Juventus forward for inspiration. There is hardly a record that Ronaldo has not broken in the club or international level. The 36-year-old carried that impressive form into the Euro 2020, netting two late goals against Hungary in their opener. In doing so, Ronaldo ended up breaking many records. The Portugal skipper, who became the first player to feature in five European Championships, is now the all-time leading scorer in the competition.

With the double strike, the former Manchester United winger now has 11 goals, leapfrogging Michel Platini’s tally of nine strikes for France. Besides, Ronaldo is also closing in on another impressive record. He is only three goals shy of former Iran striker Ali Daei’s tally of 109 international goals. Rashford might face off against Ronaldo in the knockout stages, but it solely depends on where England and Portugal finish in their respective groups.

“To play against Portugal would be a great feeling for everyone in the squad because to play against some of the best players in the world, we want to test ourselves against the best,” he said. “That’s the reason why push ourselves every day. We don’t want an easy ride, we want to play against the best teams in the world. We want to do well against them. For the players, it will be an amazing experience.”

‘He turned into an animal’

Rashford was high on praise for the Portuguese superstar and feels that it will be a “great experience” to play against him. “Cristiano is an unbelievable player and it almost becomes normal when he defies the odds now, it’s just the way his career has been from the beginning, and it will be a great experience to play against him.

“Just watching him grow and develop into the player he’s become was the great thing about it because when he first started playing, he wasn’t the Cristiano that you see today or five years ago, he was a different player, he was always dribbling, always taking people on and then just as time went on he just turned into an animal.”

The Manchester United forward also said that he is one of the many people who still look up to Ronaldo. “He was scoring, he was assisting, he’s 36 and he’s scoring goals left, right and centre, so I don’t have a bad word to say about him. I think he’s someone a lot of people look up to including me,” he added.

‘You have to be professional’

Rashford is not bothered about being left out of the starting line-up against Croatia and he wants to be “ready” whenever he gets a chance to play. The forward came from the bench in the second half as England started the tournament with a 1-0 win.

“Of course, every single player wants to play but only 11 can start and when you’ve got a talented squad of 26, there’s going to be a lot who are going to miss out,” said Rashford. “But whether you are on the bench or starting, it’s clear you need everyone in order to go long distance in a tournament.

“It’s about being ready and working hard in training and in the games when you get a chance. You have to move on and I’m just happy the team got three points. You have to be professional about it. As a player, it’s natural to be upset because you want to play every game. But you can’t put your head down and start sulking because it doesn’t have a good effect on the team.”

Sportslumo Desk

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