Marcus Rashford’s mind will be purely focused on Euro 2020 and he could come up against one of his toughest opponents during the big summer tournament.
The Manchester United no.10 captained England to a 1-0 victory over Romania in a final warm-up fixture at the weekend, scoring the only goal from the penalty spot in the second half at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.
Gareth Southgate’s side are fancied to do well in the finals, with some bookmakers rating them joint-favourites to lift the trophy, alongside France.
Marcus Rashford tangles with Raphael Varane during a Tour friendly in 2017.
One of Les Bleus‘ key figures in defence is Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane, who has oozed quality ever since breaking into the Lens first-team as a youngster.
The 28-year-old is a mainstay for his country and there will be a meeting with England at Wembley if the Three Lions win Group D and Didier Deschamps’s side finish runners-up in Group F.
Of course, there is also the prospect of the nations meeting at a later stage, if both impress.
During a recent fans’ Q&A, Marcus was asked by American Daniel M to reveal the toughest defenders to get past in the Premier League and also at international level.
Two of the names that sprung to mind will not be competing at the European Championship after recent injury lay-offs – Liverpool and Netherlands centre-back Virgil van Dijk and Real Madrid’s Spain stalwart Sergio Ramos, who partners Varane at club level.
Watch Marcus discuss his toughest opponents as part of our fans’ Q&A.
“That is a tough question, Daniel,” Rashford responded.
“I think an individual is different to a unit. Some teams defend really well as units and it’s teams like Burnley, for example, who do everything as a four. So if one pushes up, they all push up. If one drops, they all drop. It can be, at times, difficult to find space.
“But then there are some top individual defenders – van Dijk, Ramos. I thought, when we played against Real Madrid in a friendly, that Varane played and he was quite tough. So there are a few people.”