It’s easy to forget Marcus Rashford is still only 22-years-old.
Manchester United fans will never forget when an 18-year-old Rashford burst onto the scene by scoring twice on his debut in a Europa League tie against FC Midtjylland. A few days later, he bagged another brace in the Premier League against Arsenal.
He’s been in United’s first-team ever since, making more than 200 appearances in all competitions.
Considering such an explosive start to his professional career, some football fans may claim that Rashford has failed to fulfil his potential in the past four years.
He’s scored 64 goals in his 201 matches so far but has been overtaken by the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland in terms of the best young talent in Europe.
Rashford has played just 18 times in Europe’s elite competition and only has an FA Cup, League Cup, Europa League and Community Shield in his personal trophy cabinet.
However, one former teammate believes Rashford can still reach the very top – and claim the biggest individual award in football.
“I still remember Marcus Rashford’s first session with the senior squad like it was yesterday,” Matteo Darmian told the Guardian.
“I immediately thought: ‘wow, this is an incredible player’. He did so many impressive things for a player of his age and the way he improved in every detail really impressed me.
“If he continues to work the way he has done so far he can be a Ballon d’Or winner. I’m convinced of this. He impressed me the most of all the players at United and he’s very young and can still improve.
For me he can reach the level of Kylian Mbappé and compete for the Ballon d’Or for years to come.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Mbappe is a year younger than Rashford but already has four league titles to his name – not to mention a World Cup winners’ medal.
He’s the most expensive player in the world and has a quite ridiculous record for PSG, scoring 90 goals in 120 matches.
It seems Rashford has quite a way to go before he can fulfil Darmian’s prediction and reach Mbappe’s level and then go on to win the Ballon d’Or.
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