Marcus Rashford celebrates opening the scoring against Wales
Marcus Rashford may not start for England in the World Cup last-16 game against Senegal on Sunday, in what would be his 50th appearance for his country. It is a mark of the depth of quality the team possesses in the forward positions – but there is no doubting the impact the Manchester United striker has made during the tournament.
Rashford has three goals which – going into the weekend at the end of the group stages – puts him level with Álvaro Morata of Spain, Kylian Mbappé of France, Cody Gakpo of the Netherlands and Enner Valencia of Ecuador at the top of the tournament’s goal-scoring charts. His first goal came just 49 seconds after coming off the substitute’s bench against Iran, moving past one player with a feint and then slotting the ball past the goalkeeper and a sliding defender. Against Wales, he added two more, including a fizzing free kick followed by a poignant tribute to his friend Garfield Hayward who passed away a couple of days before from cancer.
“He’s had quite a long battle with cancer, so I’m pleased I managed to score for him,” Rashford said in the post-match interview. “He’s always been a big supporter of mine. He was just a great person and I’m pleased he came into my life, really”. A typically thoughtful response from a player not afraid to raise issues that that bigger than the game of football.
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