Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has made a passionate statement in response to a video posted on social media showing him reacting to hecklers outside of Old Trafford.
In the video, posted on Wednesday but filmed after Man Utd’s Champions League exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, shows Rashford turning to confront a heckling supporter.
The 24-year-old, who came on late in the second half during the defeat, denied that he had raised his middle finger to the supporters lined up outside Old Trafford, and clarified the words he used during the confrontation.
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Rashford also said in his 212-word statement that he is “human” and that the response was not down to his ego, but down to the fact he was “upset and disappointed.” Man Utd retweeted the statement, posting a heart emoji.
Rashford said: “A video can paint a thousand words and in this case lead to inaccurate info being shared on social media. Guys for weeks I’ve been heckled, threatened, questioned and last night my emotion got the better of me.
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“I’m a human being. Reading and hearing that stuff about yourself every day it wears you down.
“No one is more critical of my performance than me. But what you see in this video lacks context. I had been heckled from the minute I stepped foot outside the ground, abuse not just aimed at my football.
“People were looking for a reaction from me. Phones were at the ready. Of course I should have walked straight past and ignored it, that’s what we’re supposed to do right?
“I want to clarify 2 things. The first being what I actually said to the man throwing abuse at me which “come over here and say it to my face” (a fact security can back up) and secondly, the fact I used my forefinger to direct the fan to ‘come over and say it to my face’. I did not gesture with my middle finger.
“I’m not entitled. This isn’t ego. I’m upset. I’m disappointed. And in that moment it was silly but I was being human.”
A shoulder injury delayed Rashford’s start to this season but he has struggled for form in recent months, scoring just twice since the end of October and starting only two of United’s last seven games.
Reports emerged last week suggesting Rashford would consider his future at the club after being benched for the derby with Manchester City, with his current deal – which includes a one-year extension clause – expiring in 2023. However, United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has said he had not heard anything to indicate that intention from the attacker.
Reporter’s notebook: Rashford out, Sancho in?
Image: Jadon Sancho could take Marcus Rashford's place in the England squad, which is named on Thursday
Rashford’s on-pitch problems could be underlined on Thursday when Gareth Southgate names his England squad, with the forward’s place under threat.
Sky Sports News’ senior reporter Rob Dorsett says Southgate is expected to name a larger-than-usual men’s squad on Thursday, the first of 2022, for games against Switzerland and Ivory Coast as he begins preparations for the winter World Cup in Qatar.
However, there is real doubt whether Rashford will be included on the list, with his United team-mate Jadon Sancho in line for a recall.
Read more analysis of the upcoming England squad here.
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