MARCUS RASHFORD admits he was blown away by Lionel Messi’s “unbelievable” technique when the pair faced each other for the first time.
The Manchester United striker told the Financial Times he was in awe of the Barcelona skipper’s ability to create space despite having “everybody else move ” around him.
The Old Trafford star, 22, reflected on the eye-opening moment he came up against Messi, 33, in the flesh and being awestruck by his world class abilities.
Rashford said: “The way [Messi] finds spaces, he’s unbelievable.
“When I played against him for the first time, that’s what I said to Jesse [Lingard, a team-mate] at half time.
“He doesn’t move, but he’s everywhere, because he lets everybody else move.”
Rashford and his United team-mates lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace this evening in their first match of the new Prem season.
And the Old Trafford starlet was presented with a Goal of the Season award before kick-off.
The striker spoke to the FT ahead of the game about his fight against food poverty and its effect on the nation’s poorest youngsters.
The Red Devils hotshot, who is the youngest of five, was raised single handedly by his mother in Wythenshawe along with his siblings.
And he recalls the moments when his family had to turn to food banks while his classmates brought their packed lunches into school.
Rashford added: “I remember certain things from their packed lunches that I used to like.
“I don’t know why it sticks with me.
“It was always those little Milky Way yoghurts, I remember always asking his parents to put in one extra one, so at lunchtime, I could steal one off him.”
This summer Rashford managed to press the Government to make a policy U-turn which led to £120million being allocated to pay for meals for disadvantaged children.
And the praise the England forward received for his campaigning efforts, is in stark contrast to the controversy surrounding some of his United team-mates including skipper Harry Maguire.
The centre-back, who Rashford holidayed with in Mykonos this year, received a suspended prison sentence in August after being found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and attempted bribery.
Maguire, 27, has since appealed against the ruling.
And Rashford refuses to be drawn into passing judgement on his club captain.
Rashford told the FT: “I’ve seen stories like I was there [during Maguire’s arrest]
“It’s just crazy. That I had seen what happened . . . I was in bed!
“I just don’t understand how so many people can have such big opinions on it when we don’t know the story.”
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