England striker Marcus Rashford has ultimately admitted that he knew he would fail to score during Euro penalty shootout with Italy.
Rashford and two other black players Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were subjected to disgusting racial abuse after they missed spot-kicks in the penalty shootout.
In a statement he issued after being attacked by English fans, Rashford admitted that he went into the final match against Italy with lack of confidence in his penalty shooting ability.
The 23-year-old striker further said ‘something didn’t feel quite right’ when he went to take the penalty, which ended with him hitting the goal post.
“I don’t even know where to start and I don’t even know how to put into words how I’m feeling at this exact time. I’ve had a difficult season, I think that’s been clear for everyone to see and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence. I’ve always backed myself for a penalty but something didn’t feel quite right. During the long run up I was saving myself a bit of time and unfortunately the result was not what I wanted,” Marcus Rashford wrote in part.
“I felt as though I had let my teammates down. I felt as if I’d let everyone down. A penalty was all l’d been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep so why not that one? It’s been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels. Final. 55 years. I penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had gone differently.”
Rashford also congratulated his English teammates for their participation in the 2020 Euros;
“Whilst I continue to say sorry I want to shoutout my teammates. This summer has been one of the best camps I’ve experienced and you’ve all played a role in that. A brotherhood has been built that is unbreakable. Your success is my success. Your failures are mine.”
The 23 year old striker however asserted that he was proud of his black roots and that he also dedicates his best while playing for England.
“I’ve grown into a sport where I expect to read things written about myself. Whether it be the colour of my skin, where I grew up, or, most recently, how I decided to spend my time off the pitch. I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from.
“I’ve felt no prouder moment than wearing those three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of 10s of thousands. I dreamt of days like this. The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears. The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that. For all the king messages, thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger. MR10.”
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) July 12, 2021