Marcus Rashford made Zlatan Ibrahimovic stand and applaud during pre-season in 2016

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It feels like Marcus Rashford has been around forever, doesn’t it?

The Manchester United striker has already played 203 games at club level and made a further 38 appearances for England.

That’s an impressive number of games for a 22-year-old who, incidentally, is currently enjoying the most productive season of his career so far.

In 33 matches for the Red Devils this season, Rashford has bagged 19 goals.

He’s improving all the time and has been the proud owner of United’s No. 10 shirt since August 2018.

The previous occupant of the No. 10 shirt was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the charismatic Swede who netted 29 goals in 53 games for the English side.

Zlatan joined United in the summer of 2016, months after Rashford had burst onto the scene with braces against Midtjylland and Arsenal, and saw first-hand what the teenager was capable of during pre-season.

United faced Galatasaray in a friendly at the Ullevi Stadium in Sweden and sealed a comfortable 5-2 victory.

Zlatan, on his debut, opened the scoring in the fourth minute before going off at half-time.

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Rashford entered the fray for the second half and earned a standing ovation from his superstar teammate in the 58th minute after winning a penalty.

The young forward, just 18 at the time, sprinted past defender Serdar Aziz before goalkeeper Fernando Muslera took him down.

Zlatan’s reaction was priceless. He rose to his feet and applauded with a shocked look on his face.

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Watch it here...

The big man knew he was witnessing the rise of a special talent.

Ibra has continued to keep close tabs on Rashford’s journey ever since.

“Rashford is the future of Manchester United,” he was quoted as saying by the Mirror in 2019. “In the beginning, I saw him more as an individual - now he is playing more for the collective. He is using his quality more for the team, not for himself only.

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“He has big potential and a big future with United and the special thing is that he comes from the academy. I think he has no limits.”

Zlatan certainly knows a player when he sees one - and he’ll surely be proud that Rashford is now fulfilling his potential at the Theatre of Dreams.

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