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Rashford still watches videos of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar to learn 'how they do it'

19:41 GMT+3 10/08/2019
Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus 2018-19
The Man Utd and England striker says that a pair of Brazilians sparked his love for the game but his peers are an inspiration now

Marcus Rashford has said he still watches video clips of the world’s best players so he can understand how they do the things they do.

The Manchester United and England forward has played in the Champions League and at the World Cup but says players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar still inspire him, just as the Brazilian Ronaldo did as a child.

He also says that a pre-season game against Messi was a formative experience, coming just after he’d made his way into United’s first team in 2016.

“I still watch clips of loads of players,” Rashford said in an interview with The Times . “Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar.

“If they’ve done something at the weekend I’d want to know how they’ve done it.

“Messi’s natural abilities are crazy. It’s a joy to watch him but also for the [way he uses] space.

“I remember the first time I played Barcelona in pre-season [in Maryland, 2017], the team were like clockwork based around him.

“It wasn’t necessarily what Messi was doing on the ball that was, ‘Wow.’ It was the positions he was taking up, and how he affected a game without even touching the ball, that were also special.”

His contemporaries are not the only players that have inspired Rashford.

As a youngster he would watch a pair of Brazilians play and try and emulate their skills while playing near his Manchester home.

It was the unscripted nature of the way that former Barcelona, Inter and AC Milan star Ronaldo played that first made the now 21-year-old want to be a player, and the unique style of another Camp Nou legend also shaped the way he wanted to play the game.

“When I was younger, I’d watch games, watch clips on YouTube, then go out, and try everything,” the striker, who boasts 32 international games for England, added.

“I watched Ronaldinho doing that flip-flap.

“I watched a lot of the Brazilian Ronaldo when I was really young.

“Ronaldo was the one that made you love the game and want to try things that people wouldn’t normally try.

“Just everything. It’s not scripted.”