The Brazilian soccer legend, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, a.k.a. Pele, has urged the Manchester United wonderkid, Marcus Rashford, to show no fear as the teenager prepares for Euro 2016 with the rest of the England squad.
The 18-year-old has forced his way into Roy Hodgson’s plans despite his tender age and Pele urged him to have faith in his own ability.
After a stunning breakout season the Manchester United wonderkid is part of England’s 23-man for the France tournament, which kicks off on June 10.
Rashford scored on his Premier League and Europa League debuts for United, while the 18-year-old forward became England’s youngest debutant goalscorer in the nation’s 2-1 win over Australia last week.
And Pele – arguably the greatest footballer of all time after winning three World Cups, with the first coming at the age of 17 – had some advice for Rashford.
“Today it doesn’t matter about age. It is important to be prepared. But never, never, never be afraid,” Pele said as England complete their preparations for Euro 2016 with a friendly against Portugal on Thursday.
“I wish him the same luck that I had in my life.
“There is big pressure but I think he has to have confidence and trust himself.
“Before I won the World Cup first time, I was told by my coaches: ‘You are here because you have a style, you are a good player, don’t be afraid because the other players are older than you.’ That is my message [to Rashford] too.”
Drawn in Group B, England will face Russia on June 11 before going head-to-head with Wales and Slovakia.
That boy is a brilliant teen from Old Trafford.
Up Man U!