Soccer

Marcus Rashford hits back at criticism over his commitment to Manchester United

The 26-year-old England international has faced questions this season for issues both on and off the field.

Marcus Rashford has asked for “a bit more humanity” following criticism
Marcus Rashford Marcus Rashford has asked for “a bit more humanity” following criticism (Mike Egerton/PA)

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has hit back following criticism concerning his commitment to the club.

The 26-year-old England international has faced questions this season for issues both on and off the field.

Last month Rashford was under the spotlight after reportedly being seen in a Belfast nightclub before missing the following day’s training due to illness and he subsequently missed United’s FA Cup tie against Newport.

However, in a piece for the Players’ Tribune website, Rashford has responded to his critics, asking them to show “a bit more humanity”.

Rashford has received criticism around his commitment to Manchester United
Marcus Rashford Rashford has received criticism around his commitment to Manchester United (Mike Egerton/PA)

“When I make a mistake, I’ll be the first one to put my hand up and say that I need to do better,” he wrote.

“But if you ever question my commitment to Man United, that’s when I have to speak up. It’s like somebody questioning my entire identity, and everything I stand for as a man.

“I grew up here. I have played for this club since I was a boy. My family turned down life-changing money when I was a kid so I could wear this badge.

“I can take any criticism. I can take any headline. From podcasts, social media and the papers. I can take it.

“But if you start questioning my commitment to this club and my love for football and bringing my family into it, then I’d simply ask you to have a bit more humanity.”

Rashford came under scrutiny in October last year after attending a nightclub party following United’s 3-0 home derby defeat to Manchester City.

He has also faced criticism for performances on the pitch having scored only five goals in 32 appearances across all competitions this season.

The forward suggested there is a “tone” to media coverage surrounding him, which he believes may stem from his campaigning for free school meals during the pandemic in which he was made an MBE.

Rashford added: “I’m not trying to have a go at the media. I understand the game, you know what I mean? They’re not really writing about me. It’s like they’re writing about this character, ‘Marcus Rashford.’

“It can’t just be about me as a 26-year-old lad on a night out, or a lad getting a parking ticket. It’s got to be about how much my car costs, guessing my weekly salary, my jewellery or even my tattoos.

Rashford has scored five goals in 32 appearances across all competitions this season
Marcus Rashford Rashford has scored five goals in 32 appearances across all competitions this season (Martin Rickett/PA)

“It’s got to be about my body language, and questioning my morals, and speculating about my family, and my football future.

“There’s a tone to it that you don’t get with all footballers. Let’s just leave it at that.

“I think some of it goes back to the pandemic. I was just trying to use my voice to make sure that kids weren’t going hungry, because I know exactly how it feels.

“For some reason, that seemed to rub certain people the wrong way. It seems like they’ve been waiting for me to have a human moment so they can point the finger and say, ‘See? See who he really is?’.”