Marcus Rashford has released a statement following England’s Euro 2020 final defeat at the hands of Italy as he discussed his feelings heading into the tournament and his penalty miss
The Manchester United forward was one of three England players to miss from the spot as Gareth Southgate’s side suffered a 3-2 defeat on penalties to Roberto Mancini’s side
Rashford, along with Jadon Sancho, were both introduced in the final stages of extra-time and selected as two of the first five penalty takers for the team.
It was a decision that ultimately backfired as Italy punished the Three Lions to inflict a cruel loss.
Rashford has since admitted that he was low on confidence heading into the game and had a bad feeling as he made his way to the penalty spot, suggesting that Southgate may well have made a mistake.
“I don’t even know where to start and I don’t even know how to put into words how I am feeling at this exact time,” said the United forward in a statement shared on social media.
He added: “I’ve had a difficult season, I think that’s been clear for everyone to see and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence.
“I’ve always backed myself for a penalty, but something didn’t feel quite right. During the long run-up I was saving myself a bit of time and unfortunately the result was not what I wanted.”
Did Southgate place too much pressure on Rashford and Sancho? Comment below.
Southgate has come under criticism throughout Euro 2020 for various tactical reasons, and this was the latest issue that fans were unhappy about.
BBC pundits Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand both shared opposing views on the decision to sub on Rashford and Sancho as they reflected on what proved to be a key moment in the contest.
“It’s a big big ask. A big ask to put two players on with a minute to go to say you’re going to take a penalty for us,” Shearer told BBC.
“You’re under enough pressure anyway as a player but the extra pressure you’ve put on those individuals when you’ve had no feel of the football, not involved in the game at all and then you’re put in that situation. It’s a big big ask.”
Providing his take on the situation, Ferdinand disagreed with the comments made by Shearer.
“That’s happened for years. People have put players on. Maybe not as late but towards the end; the last five, four, three minutes,” he said. “Players come on this pitch and they go on as penalty takers because they’re recognised. Rashford is a recognised penalty taker for Man United.
“This happens. We look down the years in tournament football and it’s the biggest players, the best players in the world at times miss penalties. These are young kids. They’ve got to look at that. Big players in the past, (Roberto) Baggio’s etc have missed big penalties.”