Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has been praised by England teammates and staff after being honoured by The Queen.
Rashford, 22, has received an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list. The 38-cap England international campaigned for the government to allow disadvantaged children to claim free meals during the school holidays. And he has now been rewarded for his charitable efforts.
Whilst his work with the defence leaves a lot to be desired, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown he can get the best out of the front three. Stars such as Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood have all come on leaps and bounds under the club legend, while Bruno Fernandes has been the catalyst for Man United’s midfield.
According to The Daily Telegraph’s James Ducker, Rashford will wear boots carrying children’s messages of hope when Gareth Southgate’s side face Belgium in the Nations League on Sunday night. It’s claimed that he has taken inspiration from his idol Muhammad Ali to encourage social change.
And the England striker has launched the “Marcus Rashford Boot Project” to celebrate Black History Month. He will donate each pair to causes who support his fight against child poverty, including his work with FareShare and the Trussell Trust.
Whilst Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani are all exciting acquisitions, and even Paul Pogba has done his fair share of charity work, it can be argued that Rashford is the player who is most suited to becoming a club legend under Solskjaer.
Ali, who is Rashford’s hero, was one of the most influential sportsmen in history. In fact, he was equally as famous for his work outside of the ring as well as inside. His courageous actions as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War made him a symbol for counterculture whilst he actively campaigned for the civil rights movement.
Rashford is clearly an incredible talent, having bagged a brace on his Red Devils debut in the Europa League and his Premier League debut against Arsenal respectively, whilst whilst his record of 10 goals in 38 games for England speaks for itself. However, in many ways, it seems as though he is the perfect player to work with off the pitch as well.
We all know how Solskjaer only wants players with the right DNA and identity at the club, with the Norwegian outlining exactly what he was looking for in the summer transfer window: “You have a certain DNA and identity when you play for Man United or work for Man United, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the canteen or laundry or in admin or on the pitch, you’ve got to be a certain type of character for me.”
Rashford, valued at £72m, ticks all of the boxes, with his international teammates and coaches heaping praise on his personality as well as his playing style.
England centre-back Eric Dier said he is a “fantastic role model” for everyone whilst Southgate commended him for the “phenomenal achievement.” And Solskjaer gave Rashford a glowing review for his form since the restart: “He runs in behind, he comes short, he can play a pass, he’s got individual skills. So, Marcus has got all the attributes to be a top forward.”
So, it seems Solskjaer has a real gem on his hands, a hard-working player who wants to make an impact on-and-off the pitch by bringing about social change. It is worth remembering that Rashford is still only 22 years old, but he has already achieved so much in such a short amount of time. Whether or not he will reach the same heights as Ali remains to be seen, but the sky is the limit.
AND in other news, Man Utd could unearth the next Rio Ferdinand in Teden Mengi…