Rashford defends his commitment to Man United, asks critics to show 'more humanity'

Thu, Feb 29, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Rashford defends his commitment to Man United, asks critics to show 'more humanity'

MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Marcus Rashford fired back at critics who have questioned his commitment to Manchester United amid a disappointing season and the forward suggested on Thursday that he's judged more critically than other players.

The England international has scored just five goals so far this season - after a career-high 30 last campaign - and has come under scrutiny off the field.

Rashford reportedly went to a Belfast nightclub in late January before missing the next day's training because of illness. He then missed United's FA Cup game against Newport.

The 26-year-old Rashford wrote in the Players' Tribune that the criticism forced him to respond.

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"Listen, I'm not a perfect person. When I make a mistake, I'll be the first one to put my hand up and say that I need to do better," he wrote. "But if you ever question my commitment to Man United, that's when I have to speak up. It's like somebody questioning my entire identity, and everything I stand for as a man."

The forward said the media writes about a "character" rather than a person.

"It can't just be about me as a 26-year-old lad on a night out, or a lad getting a parking ticket," he wrote. "It's got to be about how much my car costs, guessing my weekly salary, my jewelry or even my tattoos. It's got to be about my body language, and questioning my morals, and speculating about my family, and my football future. There's a tone to it that you don't get with all footballers. Let's just leave it at that."

Having grown up in the area, Rashford said all he ever wanted to do was to play for United.

"I can take any criticism. I can take any headline. From podcasts, social media and the papers. I can take it. But if you start questioning my commitment to this club and my love for football and bringing my family into it, then I'd simply ask you to have a bit more humanity."

United is in sixth place in the Premier League and is fighting for a European spot ahead of its big match at Manchester City on Sunday.

"I promise you," he wrote, "the world has not seen the best of this United squad and these players. We want to be back playing in the Champions League, then we have a massive international tournament at the end of the season. We will be back where we belong. We just have to keep working, and that starts with me."

Rashford has scored 17 goals in 59 appearances for England, which is one of the top teams heading into this summer's European Championship.

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