Rashford focused on fulfilling potential after comparison to Ronaldo

Marcus Rashford is fully focused on fulfilling his potential as the homegrown forward looks to become a Manchester United great like Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fresh from his latest stunning display in Sunday’s thrilling win at Manchester City, manager and 1999 treble-winning striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likened the 22-year-old to one of the greatest players of all time.

Ronaldo is a United hero following medal-laden spell at Old Trafford, with the Norwegian saying it is “very easy” to compare Rashford to the Juventus forward given the “skills, body shape, attitude, attributes – everything”.

Cristiano Ronaldo helped Manchester United to win the Champions League in 2008
Cristiano Ronaldo helped Manchester United to win the Champions League in 2008 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Put to Rashford that there cannot really be any higher praise than that as a United player, Rashford said: “No, I think it’s (a case of) as a forward player, ever since I’ve come through they always compare you with forwards that have been in the past and it’s something that you don’t really have much of an input on.

“All you do is try to do your best on the pitch and then people outside do the talking about it.

“It will be a similar thing for (the next crop). You see the other young players coming through now, they’ll have it in the future as well where they’re always being compared to other forwards.

“It’s just a thing people like to do with forwards so it’s obviously nice, definitely a compliment.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been mightily impressed by Marcus Rashford
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been mightily impressed by Marcus Rashford (Martin Rickett/PA)

“For me, I understand how far I’ve got left to go to reach the heights they reached so I am very clear-minded and just focused on myself.”

Solskjaer believes Rashford “has every chance in the world to become a top, top player” at a club that against Everton this weekend will celebrate a 4,000th successive match containing a youth product in the squad.

George Best, Sir Bobby Charlton and the Class of 92 are among those that have come through at United during a run that started in 1937 – the kind of players that the 22-year-old would love to one day be considered alongside.

“Obviously it’s a nice feeling to have the start I’ve had, but you never have a moment to really sit back and look at it,” he said, having kicked on since his stunning debut against Midtjylland in February 2016.

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“There’s always another game around the corner.

“For me, it’s not necessary to look back and look at what you’ve achieved so far.

“It’s more about what you can achieve in the future and the potential of the team. That’s the way I look at it.

“As a group, as a collective, if we start winning more games, if we start being involved in big games, winning trophies, it won’t just be my name that’s mentioned with them people, it will be as a collective.

Marcus Rashford has been superb for England as well as Man United
Marcus Rashford has been superb for England as well as United (Mike Egerton/PA)

“If we can do that, I think that’s what we all want.”

Rashford remains impressively level-headed and driven at a time when he is being praised to the hilt.

The England international’s 13-goal haul already equals his best goalscoring return for United in a single season, while he has been directly involved in 15 goals in his past 14 matches for club and country.

“I think just the moments where we’ve obviously won trophies stands above this moment now,” Rashford said in an interview with the PA news agency.

“The results have still been inconsistent but the performances have been getting better so we can see where we’re heading.

“Obviously there’s a lot of young players in the squad and in the starting XI so we’re sort of learning as we go along.

“But, you know, it’s the first time we’ve had back-to-back wins in the league so hopefully that can start something off for us and we can get used to just getting results and performing.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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