Young England forward Marcus Rashford discusses his first ever call-up to the national team

Alex Gidden

England forward Marcus Rashford has admitted that he still can't believe that he has been capped by his national side, after discussing the events that led to his first ever call-up. 

The teenager burst onto the scene in early 2016, where he scored on his Manchester United debut and proceeded to feature on a regular basis for Louis van Gaal's side. 

Having shone for his club, Rashford was handed the ultimate compliment when he was named in Roy Hodgson's England squad to travel to the European Championships in France the following summer.

The United striker has recently been named in Gareth Southgate's squad for upcoming matches against Germany and Lithuania, and as he prepares to make his seventh appearance for the Three Lions, Rashford has described the story behind his first ever call-up.

England v Australia - International Friendly
England v Australia - International Friendly

The 19-year-old told The Players Tribune (as quoted by 101 Great Goals): 

"One day during training with United last season, my teammates told me that I’d been selected for the national team to go Euro 2016, and I literally didn’t believe it. I thought they were joking. I’d only just made my debut for Manchester United a few months before.

"Phil Jones came up to me as we headed into the changing rooms and said, 'I’m tellin’ ya mate, you’re going to France.'

"As I made my way into the building, some of the staff were telling me the same thing. When I got my mobile phone out of my locker, there were messages from my friends, my brothers, my mum, all saying the same thing: 'England!!!!!!!!!!!!!'



"At that point, I was buzzing, but kind of confused. And then my manager at the time, Louis van Gaal, walked up to me.

“The national team phoned,” he said. “Go and enjoy yourself.”

"All the days (and nights) leading up to your England debut, you can’t stop trying to imagine what it’s going to be like. You play it through in your head over and over again.

"But whatever you expect, it’s never going to be like that. It’s never going to be like how you dreamed. 

It was so much better than that."

Having scored on his international debut in a 2-1 friendly win over Australia, Rashford has been unable to find the net in his other five England caps and was used sparingly in the disappointing Euro 2016 campaign, where Hodgson's team were knocked out by minnows Iceland.

With both England and his club changing managers last summer, Rashford is still looking to make his mark under both Gareth Southgate and Jose Mourinho. 

The 19-year-old has made 37 appearances in all competitions for United this season, scoring seven goals and contributing two assists, whilst he has yet to score for the Three Lions under new England manager Gareth Southgate.

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