Marcus Rashford insists he would take a penalty against Colombia

by Leo Nieboer

Marcus Rashford has insisted he would be prepared to take a penalty if England’s last 16 clash with Colombia on Tuesday night ends in a draw after 120 minutes.

The youngster, who impressed from the bench in England’s opening game, was handed a start in the 1-0 defeat to Belgium and missed a glorious chance to equalise.

He will have to make an impact from the bench in Moscow as Gareth Southgate’s side look to win a knockout game for the first time since 2006.

Speaking ahead of the clash, Rashford made it clear that he would be willing to step forward in the event of a penalty shootout.

“I think he (manager Gareth Southgate) knows the players who are confident in those circumstances,” he said. “I’d be willing to step forward.”

“Not everybody here is a penalty taker for their club. It’s more if you feel comfortable taking one, which I do, that’s the way you go about it.”

Therein lies the temperament which propelled Rashford to the first team – and international recognition – back in 2016 and, crucially, kept him there ever since.

Most 20-year-olds couldn’t even imagine that kind of pressure. I’m 20 and if I had to take a penalty for England at a World Cup, I do not think it’s an exaggeration to suggest that my skull would quite literally explode out of my head as my bowels disintegrate into dust. I mean: just think about that pressure.

But that is what separates the elite from the rest. Rashford, even at such a young age, wants that responsibility. To suggest he lacks the temperament to play at the highest level – as some said after his miss against Belgium – is nothing short of ridiculous.

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