Five years ago today Marcus Rashford made his Manchester United debut against FC Midtjylland, scoring twice as United won 5-1 in the Europa League.
If someone had said on that day, that in five years time, some lad from the academy who had started the season with the goal of being in the U-23 squad, would be wearing our captain’s armband, you’d have struggled to believe it. But that’s what happened this evening, as we progressed to the next round after a 0-0 home draw with Real Sociedad thanks to a 4-0 away win.
Ahead of the game, Rashford reflected on his debut goal, when he ran straight to Dean Henderson who was watching the match in the crowd. Henderson interviewed Rashford for the official site and they talked about this moment.
Rashford: You were in the crowd. The Academy get particular seats and they’d just moved you. They used to be high up, the tickets, but not long after I started training with the first team the seats moved to the Family Stand. I just knew that there were people there and as I was running I just saw you and you grabbed me! [Laughs] Great memories. That’s probably the bit I remember the most. I remember the goals and stuff and how they happened, but other than that I don’t really remember the game itself. I just remember certain moments.
Henderson: Growing up with you for the last few years and seeing you come onto the pitch was just great. I had a huge amount of pride seeing you on there and when the ball fell to you and you hit it, I was just buzzing. And for the second goal you ran straight to the same place; it was fantastic. We spoke about it the next day and I was still buzzing and I wanted to know what it was like to play out there.
Rashford: It’s because we’ve watched so many games there and that’s all you’re doing: wondering what it’s like to be on the pitch. All the way, it [the United way] is ingrained into you and that’s how you know if someone can play for United. You, for example, when you came in, you found it dead easy to just settle in and you understood what the club stands for and what it meant and, for me, that’s a big sign when we sign young players – they have to be able to fit in to what United is. For me, it was just about them ingraining it into me from very young. For yourself, it’s a bit different because you came into it and had to adapt, but you did. We all wanted to win. The environment here creates winners. That strong bond is probably why a lot of our age group have made their debut here and are still at the club here, or they have gone to do well at other clubs. It’s about that togetherness [growing up].