Rashford moved to the verge of tears by messages of support as he apologises for penalty miss

By Sports Desk July 12, 2021

Marcus Rashford has posted an emotional thanks for the support he has received following his penalty miss in the Euro 2020 final, despite the Manchester United forward having been the recipient of racial abuse.

Rashford hit the post with his spot-kick in England's 3-2 shoot-out defeat to Italy – Gianluigi Donnarumma subsequently saving efforts from Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.

United star Rashford had been introduced by Gareth Southgate in the dying embers of extra time at Wembley, seemingly specifically with penalties in mind.

After the game, the 23-year-old – whose fight for children to have access to free school meals has led to a shift in UK government policy – along with Saka, Sancho and Raheem Sterling, was targetted by hateful messages on social media.

Channel 4, quoting a report by data company Signify, claimed close to 2,000 racially abusive tweets had been sent to the four players.

Southgate, the Football Association (FA) and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson all condemned the perpetrators, while England captain Harry Kane insisted anybody posting such messages was not wanted by the team as a supporter.

Meanwhile, a mural of Rashford in Withington, Manchester, was defaced overnight.

However, supporters of Rashford have since covered the graffiti with messages of support, while United's official Twitter account posted: "We're all behind you, @MarcusRashford.

"As a player. As a person. As an inspiration to our club and our supporters. As a representation of hope that there is plenty more good than bad in the world."

On Monday, Rashford posted an emotional message, firstly apologising for his missed penalty.

"I don't even know where to start and I don't even know how to put into words how I'm feeling at this exact time," Rashford wrote.

"I've had a difficult season, I think that's been clear for everyone to see and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence. I've always backed myself for a penalty but something didn't feel quite right.

"During the long run up I was saving myself a bit of time and unfortunately the result was not what I wanted. I felt as though I had let my team-mates down. I felt as if I'd let everyone down.

"A penalty was all I'd been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep so why not that one? It's been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there's probably not a word to quite describe how it feels. Final. 55 years. One penalty. History.

"All I can say is sorry. I wish it had of [sic] gone differently. Whilst I continue to say sorry I want to shout out my team-mates. This summer has been one of the best camps I've experienced and you've all played a role in that. A brotherhood has been built that is unbreakable. Your success is my success. Your failures are mine."

He then went on to thank the well-wishers for their support, though reiterated he would never apologise for "who I am and where I came from."

“I've grown into a sport where I expect to read things written about myself. Whether it be the colour of my skin, where I grew up, or, most recently, how I decide to spend my time off the pitch," Rashford continued.

"I've felt no prouder moment than wearing those three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of 10s of thousands. I dreamt of days like this. The messages I've received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.

"The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I'm Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that."

Related items

  • 'A cowardly act' - Feyenoord disgusted as Union Berlin chiefs suffer Rotterdam attack 'A cowardly act' - Feyenoord disgusted as Union Berlin chiefs suffer Rotterdam attack

    Feyenoord have condemned a "totally reprehensible" attack on top officials from Europa Conference League rivals Union Berlin at a Rotterdam restaurant.

    According to reports in the Netherlands, Union president Dirk Zingler and director Oskar Kosche were among those sitting outside when a group of men began hurling missiles, including glasses and chairs.

    Feyenoord said "minor injuries" were sustained by those under assault, declaring those responsible had no right to consider themselves supporters of the Eredivisie club.

    In a statement, Feyenoord confirmed the attack on Wednesday evening occurred in the city centre.

    "It was a totally reprehensible event that should not happen to anyone who is a guest in the city for what should be a beautiful European football night," Feyenoord said.

    "Feyenoord thinks it is terrible that this has happened to representatives of Union Berlin. The club therefore distances itself in every possible way from the people who have reduced themselves to this cowardly act and believes that no one who portrays Feyenoord and the city in such an insane way in a negative light can and should call themselves a supporter. The club cannot get over the fact that people think it is in any way acceptable to display such behaviour."

    Feyenoord and Union go head to head on Thursday evening in Group E of the third-tier competition. The teams meet again in Berlin on October.

    The Dutch club added: "Feyenoord is of the opinion that the [sporting] battle between two football clubs, in this case Feyenoord and Union Berlin, takes place on the field at all times for 90 minutes and never in any other way, especially not by threatening or injuring. For people who think otherwise, there is zero place at the club.

    "Feyenoord also hopes that the perpetrators are found and punished for this shocking case of public violence and although outside its sphere of influence, Feyenoord apologise to Union Berlin for what has happened."

    Union responded by quote-tweeting the statement, adding: "Thanks for the clear words Feyenoord."

    Local police confirmed they were investigating the disturbance.

    Rotterdam-based newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported a woman needed hospital treatment for a head injury sustained in the attack.

    The co-owner of De Huismeester restaurant, Pascal Dijkkamp, described the incident to the newspaper, saying: "They started throwing everything to hand: chairs, glasses, ashtrays. We've already collected a large garbage bag full of shards. A chair is completely written off."

  • Fati: Inheriting Messi's number 10 shirt does not bring added pressure at Barca Fati: Inheriting Messi's number 10 shirt does not bring added pressure at Barca

    Ansu Fati dismissed suggestions that inheriting Lionel Messi's number 10 shirt at Barcelona has brought additional expectations after committing his long-term future to the Catalan club.

    Fati signed a new six-year contract to keep him at the club until 2027, with a release clause of €1billion included - a week after Pedri had penned a similar extension with the Blaugrana.

    The Spain international burst onto the scene after making his debut in August 2019, becoming the club's youngest ever LaLiga goalscorer at the age of 16 years and 304 days.

    He is also the youngest scorer in Champions League history, after netting against Inter in December 2019 a minute after his introduction from the bench.

    The 18-year-old inherited the number 10 shirt after the departure of Barca great Messi, who left on a free transfer for Paris Saint-Germain amid salary cap issues with LaLiga in August.

    However, Fati insisted that no pressure comes with the famous shirt as he expressed his desire to succeed with his boyhood club after coming up through the La Masia academy.

    "My dream has always been to succeed here and continue growing here, luckily I will continue to do so," Fati told reporters on Thursday.

    "I'm going to work every day to improve as a person and as a player. I have not done anything yet, I must continue working, mark my path.

    "I am very grateful to the club for having trusted me, along with the captains. It could have been worn by another player, but I'm grateful.

    "I was ready because they are at Barca and at Barca you must be prepared for everything. Wearing the '10' is not a pressure, it is one more motivation, I will do the best I can."

     

    An almost year-long injury lay-off could have stunted the youngster's development, but he has managed two goals in five appearances since returning in September.

    He has registered 15 goals in 48 games for the LaLiga giants in total, a tally that is bettered only by Luis Suarez (21), Antoine Griezmann (35) and Messi (69) – none of whom are still at the club – since his senior debut.

    But Fati explained his ambition to keep improving at Barca, who are preparing for a Clasico showdown against Real Madrid on Sunday.

    "I have a lot of room for improvement, especially listening to people who can help you," he continued. "I would like to improve everything, I have not done anything yet, with work.

    "Playing a Clasico is a motivation, Madrid is our great rival. I know that the team is going to give everything for the victory.

    "I trust the team, it is true that we have to improve as always. We are going to go out and compete and play at home, which is a factor in our favour."

  • Solskjaer acknowledges van de Beek's frustrations while joking about Villarreal incident Solskjaer acknowledges van de Beek's frustrations while joking about Villarreal incident

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows Donny van de Beek is "not happy" and "frustrated" with a lack of opportunities at Manchester United.

    The Netherlands international arrived from Ajax for a reported £40million last season but chances have been few and far between for the 24-year-old at Old Trafford.

    Van de Beek has been afforded just 140 minutes of action across in competitions this term – 90 of those coming against West Ham in the EFL Cup – and the midfielder's frustrations were picked up by television cameras in a win over Villarreal last month.

    The former Ajax man was spotted throwing his chewing gum in the direction of the United bench after Jesse Lingard was brought on from the bench.

    However, asked about the incident after the Atalanta win – in which the Red Devils overturned a two-goal deficit to triumph 3-2 – Solskjaer joked to deflect any conflict, while admitting Van de Beek's frustrations.

    "It’s wiser to throw away your chewing gum and not to swallow it," Solskjaer said to Dutch outlet RTL7. "We learned that as children.

    "And giving your chewing gum to someone else is not possible in these Corona times either. Sensible, so I could see he was throwing it away.

    "Donny is still working hard, of course, and at the moment it’s hard. I understand Donny is frustrated, he’s disappointed but he keeps on working every day with a big smile.

    "I know he’s not happy, but he works hard and he’s a top professional. He knows that that’s the way that sometimes it works in football. At the moment he’s not playing but he doesn’t let himself down."

    United came from two goals down in the Champions League to win for the third time on Wednesday – the joint-most in the competition.

    Marcus Rashford's strike, which was the 300th goal of Solskjaer's tenure, started the comeback before Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo completed a remarkable turnaround.

    Bruno Fernandes also created eight chances – the most by a United player in Europe since the 2003-04 season – and Solskjaer insisted Van de Beek, who was once again an unused substitute again, must remain patient in waiting for a chance.

    "I can’t go into every single player," the head coach continued. "But if you see our team I thought our performance was really good. He’s got some good players that he plays with.

    "He keeps training well and I enjoy having him there and I hope for him that he gets his chances."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.