Marcus Rashford has been backed to challenge for the honour of the worlds finest footballer ‘for years to come’ by his former Manchester United teammate, Matteo Darmian.
Rashford had already produced career-best figures before his season was curtailed by a stress fracture suffered in January’s FA Cup replay against Wolves, scoring 19 goals and providing five assists in all competitions for Manchester United.
While he made his breakthrough in sensational fashion back in 2016, there had been lingering question marks about the 22-year-old’s best position and his ability to reach the top, though he finally seems to be thriving having been handed a regular spot on the left, with Anthony Martial being used in a more central role by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However, Matteo Darmian – now at Parma – reckons his former teammate has all the qualities to compete with the likes of Kylian Mbappe for the games biggest individual prize, the Ballon d’Or.
“I still remember Marcus Rashford’s first session with the senior squad like it was yesterday,” Darmian told The Guardian.
“I immediately thought: ‘Wow, this is an incredible player’. He did so many impressive things for a player of his age and the way he improved in every detail really impressed me.
“If he continues to work the way he has done so far he can be a Ballon d’Or winner. I’m convinced of this. He impressed me the most of all the players at United and he’s very young and can still improve.
“For me, he can reach the level of Kylian Mbappe and compete for the Ballon d’Or for years to come.”