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

14 November 2017

The story has been told countless times: On 23 April 2003, Roman Abramovich was in attendance at Old Trafford to witness Manchester United beat Real Madrid 4-3 in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

It was the night Ronaldo set Old Trafford alight with a stunning hat-trick that even left Sir Alex Ferguson drooling on the sidelines. No wonder Rashford will indeed be living the dream when he faces the five-time world champions Brazil tonight.

Marcus Rashford has made 14 appearances for England.

"It's all those clips and my first ever game that I saw live, he was playing in it". Ronaldo, not quite at his Barcelona peak, but still coming off the back of dominating the 2002 World Cup, scored a brilliant hat-trick.

'Jose (Mourinho) wouldn't mess around, but he picks him in all the big games and is on the field in almost every game.

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"It was in 2003".

Rashford is nearly certain to score a hat-trick against Real Madrid in the Champions League now. I was only young though.

'It's fantastic really that he's been a player who's been able to dip under the radar as we think so much of him, not only his ability, but his mentality and his maturity.

"I used to watch a lot of him growing up", he said.

Rashford says: "He was a top player who won a lot of things, so when he's saying good things about you it really stands out". Now 41, Ronaldo is likely to be at Wembley to see the player he speaks so highly of in the flesh.

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"No matter where he was playing, he played free and went out there and expressed himself". He felt that was where he'd play in the future, and it still might be I think. When you're young you watch clips of the best players in the world and try and emulate them.

"Who doesn't enjoy watching the type of football Brazil play?"

It is debatable whether or not Rashford is playing his best football right now.

England striker Marcus Rashford may only be 20 but has already shown the attributes to become a top player, manager Gareth Southgate has said ahead of the team's global friendly against Brazil on Tuesday.

Barring injury, he is guaranteed to be on the plane to Russian Federation next summer for the World Cup. Asked whether he'd been aware of Ronaldo's comments, originally made a year ago, Rashford went on: "Yeah, I've seen a few bits from him from quite a while back".

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