Rashford reveals Ronaldo inspiration as England prepare for Brazil clash

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I was only four, but he was my brother's [Dwaine] favourite player, that's...

Rashford came in for high praise from Ronaldo in the build-up to last year's European championships, when the Brazilian World Cup victor said the 20-year-old Englishman reminded him of his younger self.

That will come as little surprise to anyone who has observed Rashford develop since he gripped the national consciousness by scoring twice on his United debut in a 5-1 victory against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League some 21 months ago.

"He was obviously a top player who won a lot of things in his career", he said.

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"You wouldn't swap him for any other young player right now".

'He always played free. No matter where he was playing, he went out there and expressed himself.

The transition from watching to playing has been seamless for Rashford. However, there have been mitigating circumstances. The three-time World Player of the Year, widely regarded as one of the greatest hitmen of all time, revealed last year that he sees shades of himself in the Manchester United marksman.

Marcus Rashford was only five-years-old when he went to his first live game and witnessed a Brazilian striker confound his beloved Manchester United's defence in a performance that would forever stay with the eventual England forward.

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Rashford lined up alongside Romelu Lukaku that afternoon and it bodes well for the player's prospects at global level that he appears comfortable in a two-man frontline. Playing in a two is easier.

There can be mitigating circumstances with manager José Mourinho looking to use the youngster alongside Romelu Lukaku in a two-man attack, the youngster admitted that it does "take a bit of getting used to" but stated that it is all about "understanding each other's games".

However the best patch of form for two-time Ballon d'Or and World Cup victor came during his five seasons with La Liga giantsReal Madrid as one of the infamous Galácticos, and Rashford witnessed the striker's talents at the tender age of five. For Marcus Rashford, praise from Brazil legend Ronaldo has been the stuff of fantasy.

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