Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford says he has tried to mould his game around Brazilian legend Ronaldo in the early stages of his career.
In his first day matchday experience as a five-year-old at Old Trafford, Rashford saw Ronaldo score a hat-trick as his Real Madrid side fell 4-3 to United. Despite the result, Real still progressed to the next round of the Champions League.
And ahead of England’s clash with Brazil, the youngster said he turned to the Brazilian superstar as inspiration.
“He was my brother’s favourite player – that’s why I’ve grown up watching so much of him and his games,” he told a press conference.
“It’s all those clips on YouTube and my first ever game that I saw live, he was playing in it. I always remember it. It was in 2003 and scored a hat trick. I was only young, though.
“He was obviously a top player who won a lot of things in his career, so when you know he’s saying good things about you then it really stands out.
“He always played free. No matter where he was playing, he played free and went out there and expressed himself. When you do that, that’s when you play your best football.
“When you’re young you watch clips of the best players in the world and try and emulate them – it just tends to happen naturally.”