There was a sense of deja vu when EA Sports unveiled their new FIFA 17 game mode, called ‘The Journey’, last month.
The story follows Alex Hunter, a young footballer who earns his big break in Manchester United’s first team. Hunter soon finds his way into the England setup and from there, the presumption is that he becomes a star.
It’s almost like EA Sports copied Marcus Rashford’s rise step-by-step.
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Rashford, 18, made his United debut in February, scoring twice in the 5-1 win over FC Midtjylland, before jetting off to represent England at the European Championship.
Between the impressive introduction in the Europa League and his four-minute cameo appearance in England’s 2-1 win over Iceland, he has earned a reputation as one of the most promising young players in the Premier League.
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The youngster scored eight goals in 18 appearances for the Red Devils and scored inside three minutes of his England debut.
Rashford watched the trailer for ‘The Journey’ and even he couldn’t escape noticing the similarities between his story and Hunter’s.
“I actually can’t believe how accurate it is, watching Alex, it reminds me of my journey," Rashford said, per the Mirror.
“It definitely reminds me of my experience, when you see Alex go into the manager’s office you don’t know what he’s going to say or what it’s going to be like, so it brings back memories.
“You see Alex at home with his grandparents, his mum and his dad and that’s what it’s like, sometimes when you’re down you need them to pick you back up and sometimes when you’re up you need them to help keep your feet on the ground.
“So it’s what it’s like in real life."
Underused in France
Though Rashford’s international tournament bow may have ended in disappointment, England’s calamitous effort certainly can’t be lumped at his feet.
The United striker only played 21 minutes but provided impetus in each of his substitute appearances against Wales and Iceland.
And Rashford might have seen more of the action if Roy Hodgson’s tactics were a little bolder.
Quite why the former England manager waited until the 86th minute to introduce the teenager was a mystery. England tried to expose holes in Iceland’s defence but they simply weren’t there - Rashford's direct approach was needed earlier.
Supporters can get the chance to make sure Hodgson’s mistake is never repeated again when FIFA 17 is released later this year.
England fans will make sure Alex Hunter plays a bigger role in international tournaments.