Marcus Rashford captained England for the first time as he led his nation out against Romania on Sunday evening, becoming the youngest player to do so since Michael Owen in 2004. The United forward also scored from the spot, his 100th career goal in what has been a meteoric rise.
Despite often being subject to unwarranted online abuse, Marcus Rashford has inspired a nation with his unselfish work off the pitch. But he remains a class act between the white lines and that was underlined when he calmly sent the Romania goalkeeper the wrong way to secure a century of goals.
He’ll never forget the first one either. Anthony Martial was expected to start the return leg against Midtjylland in 2016, but a hamstring injury in the warm-up meant that Rashford was thrown in the deep end. Just 18 years old at the time, he dragged United through the tie and scored another two just three days later against Arsenal.
Marcus Rashford for club & country at the age of 23:
📊directly involved in a goal every 124 minutes
These are some really good numbers. Future Legend. 🔴🏴 pic.twitter.com/roOpMu6FdY
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) June 7, 2021
Five years later, Rashford is valued as the third most expensive player in the world (as per CIES Football Observatory). The step to first-team football was seen as one too early by many in 2016, but the Wythenshawe-born winger has proven all of his doubters wrong with stellar displays.
After 312 games, Rashford has scored 100, averaging one every 3,12 games. He also has 62 assists to go along with that, averaging a direct goal involvement every 124 minutes. For perspective, Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t reach 100 goals until he was five months older than Rashford, despite starting his professional career earlier.