Marcus Rashford has revealed how he studied Manchester United legends Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo and admits it was a ‘privilege to be able to learn from them’.
Rashford came through the academy system at Manchester United and has since established himself as a key figure for the Red Devils, netting his 50th Premier League goal for the club during the 2-2 draw with Leicester on Boxing Day.
That goal saw Rashford become the third-youngest player to reach the milestone for the club in the Premier League era, with only Rooney and Ronaldo having reached a half century in quicker fashion.
Rashford has now recalled idolising those two players who starred in tandem for the Red Devils, winning three league titles and the Champions League as part of a hugely successful side in the late 2000s.
The 23-year-old admits he would study the forwards after watching them up close at Old Trafford, admitting he was keen to ‘take things’ from their respective games as he looked to develop and make an impact.
“When we were going to Old Trafford, I’d see them do exciting things on the pitch, then after I’d go home and watch them on YouTube,” he told The Athletic. “Those two together, when they were in their prime, it was an absolute joy.
“It was a privilege to be able to learn from them.
“You can definitely take things from their game and try to put them in your game, but still keep your own style, your own personality on the pitch.
“They definitely taught me a lot, and in football, I don’t think you ever stop learning. I have a mentality that I want to improve every day. To do that, you have to learn from other players around the world.”
Rashford has grown in stature both on and off the pitch in recent years and captained United for the first time in the club’s Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City last season, with the forward asked whether becoming captain was a part of his long-term plans.
The England international instead outlined the importance of showing leadership whether in possession of the armband or not, admitting more leaders in the side will help the Red Devils’ chances of silverware success.
“Whether you have the band on or not, you have to be a leader,” he added. “The more players we have as leaders the better the team is — it’s as simple as that. I think we’ve demonstrated it this season when different people have stepped up in different moments.”