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Marcus Rashford’s first live game was Man United against Real Madrid – when Ronaldo scored a hat-trick 

The youngster was at Old Trafford to watch one of the greatest Champions League games of all-time

In 2003, we witnessed one of the greatest Champions League clashes of all-time. 

Manchester United against Real Madrid – the giants of the Premier League versus the mighty Galiticos.


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United boasted the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ryan Giggs and a soon-to-be-Madrid-bound David Beckham, while Los Blancos played the ultimate dream team – Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and, of course, Ronaldo Nazario.

The Ronaldo show

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The Ronaldo show

Over two legs, Real got the better of United – beating the Red Devils 6-5 on aggregate thanks largely to Ronaldo’s virtuoso display in the 4-3 defeat at Old Trafford.

Little did we know that, at the time, sitting in the stands was a five-year-old Marcus Rashford.

He was THERE

EPA
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He was THERE

The kid – who will likely start for England against Brazil on Tuesday – was understandably disappointed to see the club he worshipped get knocked out of the Champions League all those years ago.

But in Ronaldo, he found a player he dreamed of one day emulating.

Ronaldo struck a tremendous trio of goals at Old Trafford to seal Real’s passage to the semi-finals

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Ronaldo struck a tremendous trio of goals at Old Trafford to seal Real’s passage to the semi-finals

Recounting the night he watched the double-World Cup winner score a memorable hat-trick, Rashford says: “My first ever game that I saw live, he was playing in it.

“I always remember it: it was in 2003 and he scored a hat-trick.

“I was only young, but he was my brother’s favourite player, so I’ve grown up watching so much of him.”


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Last year, the former Brazil international heaped praise on Rashford, describing the 20-year-old as “courageous” and “very good with the ball”.

It turns out the Brazilian is a big fan of the young forward

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It turns out the Brazilian is a big fan of the young forward

Rashford added: “He was a top player who won a lot of things, so when he’s saying good things about you, it really stands out.

“When you’re young, you watch clips of the best players in the world and try to emulate them.

“With Ronaldo, I liked how he always played free.

“No matter where he was playing, he went out there and expressed himself.

“When you do that, that’s when you play your best football.”

Rashford will play against Brazil on Tuesday evening

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Rashford will play against Brazil on Tuesday evening

There you have it then, folks.

Rashford is almost certain to score a hat-trick against Real Madrid in the Champions League now.

It’s in the prophecy.

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