Marcus Rashford: I'm trying to model my game on Brazil's Ronaldo


"I used to watch a lot of him growing up", said the 20-year-old. Like Rashford, Ronaldo exploded onto the scene as a teenager, going to the 1994 World Cup with Brazil - even though he didn't play - before joining Dutch club PSV.

"It's all those clips and my first ever game that I saw live, he was playing in it".

"I always remember it: it was in 2003 and he scored a hat-trick".

Former Selecao striker Ronaldo scored a hat-trick for the Spanish side which proved crucial as they went through with a 6-5 lead on aggregate. "All of his games".

It safe to say the world has yet to see the best from Rashford just yet but it is also safe to say that he has yet to bring his full talents to the forefront so far in the new campaign, scoring just eight goals in 23 appearances for both club and country and none in his last five.

Why does this matter, nearly 15 years on from that famous hat-trick?

But in Ronaldo, he found a player he dreamed of one day emulating.

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Rashford came in for high praise from Ronaldo in the build-up to last year's European championships, when the Brazilian World Cup victor said the 20-year-old Englishman reminded him of his younger self.

It does not sound simple to model your game on the most naturally gifted player of his generation, an all-time great who had it within himself to be the greatest.

More than anything physical or technical, it is the freedom Ronaldo played with, the audacity and imagination and risk-taking, that most stood out to Rashford. "I think you [learn] naturally", he said.

But then he uttered a comment that has since made him the laughing stock of Twitter: "You wouldn't swap him for any other young player right now". That is what sets the most risky strikers apart and why Rashford has an obviously special quality of his own.

"No matter where he was playing, he played free and went out there and expressed himself", Rashford added.

Their assurance that the Man City striker was the better player was clearly apparent.