Marcus Rashford admits being racially abused after Euro 2020 final made him ‘lose his love for football a little bit’… but is desperate to star for England at a major tournament
- The Man United star received vile abuse after missing his penalty against Italy
- Team-mates Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were also targeted after Euro 2020
- Rashford admits he had been impacted by the racist abuse after the tournament
Marcus Rashford has admitted he briefly lost his love for football after being racially abused in the aftermath of England’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final to Italy.
Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were subjected to vile online messages after they missed penalties in the shoot-out defeat in 2021.
The Man United and England star, talking to the Overlap in partnership with Sky Bet, told Gary Neville that the abuse played on his mind after the tournament.
‘I maybe lost my love for football a little bit [after being racially abused following Euro 2020], it was not for a long period of time,’ Rashford said.
‘My shoulders were also down for a couple of months, and that’s probably when it was playing on my mind a little bit more.
Marcus Rashford was one of three England stars racially abused after the Euro 2020 final loss
Rashford admitted to Gary Neville that he briefly lost his love for football following the abuse
Rashford (right), Jadon Sancho (left) and Bukayo Saka were targeted after missing penalties
‘After that, it was fine. I was desperate to get playing again in a United shirt – I love to just play football and as soon as I did that, I wanted to play for England again.’
Rashford claimed last year that he did not believe white players would have received the same treatment from fans, claiming supporters ‘wouldn’t have noticed’.
The forward endured a difficult 2021-22 season following the Euros, having initially missed the start of the campaign following shoulder surgery.
He scored just four times in 25 Premier League games after returning from injury, with Man United missing out on Champions League football.
Rashford has thrived after the arrival of Erik ten Hag as Man United boss, with the 25-year-old enjoying the best season of his career in 2022-23, scoring 30 goals in 56 appearances.
He was rewarded for his fine form with a new five-year deal worth £300,000-a-week, committing his future to the Red Devils until 2028.
Rashford revealed he is also determined to have a ‘proper opportunity’ to star for England at a major tournament.
He made five appearances for the Three Lions at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, scoring twice in his only start against Wales in the group stage.
Rashford has targeted earning a starting spot in the England team at next summer’s Euros
Rashford was largely used as a substitute at the World Cup in Qatar, making only one start
Rashford played for just five minutes during England’s 2-1 defeat to France in the quarter-finals.
He was used solely as a substitute at Euro 2016 and 2020, while he made just one start in his six appearances at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
‘It’s massively important [for me to start for England in a major tournament],’ Rashford said.
‘There’s been times in between major tournaments where I’ve started for 18 months, then it comes to the tournament and I’m not starting.
‘It’s important for me as a player to try and get that spot nailed down and try and bring my qualities to the team.
‘We’ve got many good players, and there’s a time for every player – but I’ve still not had my proper opportunity in major tournaments.
‘If we get little things right, we can compete with the best teams in the world – as we’ve already shown. There’s still another step to take and I believe we can take it.
‘Everyone in the squad is at good ages. We’ve got a big opportunity that I don’t want to throw away.’
Marcus Rashford was speaking on The Overlap, in partnership with Sky Bet