Rashford reveals Ronaldo inspiration ahead of Brazil game

The Brazilian forward is known as one of the greatest players to ever grace a football field, and the Manchester United forward took the time to explain how he has tried to copy Ronaldo, and how his game has been affected by him in the best possible way. Manchester United beat Real Madrid 4-3 that day, but the result of the other leg meant that a Ronaldo hat trick was enough to power Los Blancos through.

It was the night Ronaldo set Old Trafford alight with a stunning hat-trick that even left Sir Alex Ferguson drooling on the sidelines.

But after United crashed out of Europe on aggregate Rashford went home dreaming of emulating his new Brazilian hero. Southgate deployed Jamie Vardy and Tammy Abraham as a forward pair against Germany and given England suddenly appear to have an encouraging number of strikers to select from, with Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and Rashford among those also in contention, it could be a formation the head coach perseveres with as he looks to reconfigure and refresh his team ahead of next summer's World Cup.

"It's all those clips on YouTube and my first ever game that I saw live, he was playing in it".

"I see some of myself in him for sure - he has courage and he's fast and is very good with the ball".

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"It was in 2003".

Why does this matter, nearly 15 years on from that famous hat-trick? I was only young though. I was five. He was my brother's favourite player, that's why I've grown up watching so much of him and his games.

Southgate said the faith shown in Rashford by United manager Jose Mourinho and former England boss Roy Hodgson was a sign that they considered him a big-game player. Now 41, Ronaldo is likely to be at Wembley to see the player he speaks so highly of in the flesh. He'd played a lot of matches for Spurs that season and has gone on to prove himself. "So when you know he's saying good things about you, then it really stands out".

Do you think Rashford can go on to become a world-class player? "That sort of player is rare but Brazil had two of them. When they're at their best it's unbelievable football to watch".

England striker Marcus Rashford may only be 20 but has already shown the attributes to become a top player, manager Gareth Southgate has said ahead of the team's worldwide friendly against Brazil on Tuesday.

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