Nigeria

#YNaijaSportsExtra: Here’s why the world is raving over Marcus Rashford

What defines an athlete? Most sports analysts would say said athlete’s level of play. And, in the world of sports, you’re only as valid as your contribution to the sports, and Manchester United’s midfielder Marcus Rashford is making himself as valuable as can be.

Yesterday, the English footballer was all over social media again and if you guessed it’s because of his performance in United’s match against RB Liepzig, then you guessed right.

The match ended in a 5-0 resounding victory for United, with Marcus delivering 3 of those goals. United fans felt hopeful with RB Liepzig coming to old Trafford for its first leg bout against United, especially considering the decisive defeat United was able to hand Paris Saint German, despite being listed the underdogs. However no one really saw a 5-0 victory coming, and certainly, no one expected that three of those goals will come from a single bench player.

Marcus Rashford has come up big for Manchester in the last two UEFA champion’s league games. He not only put an exclamation mark on last night’s game with his hat trick but he also managed to net the winning goal against PSG in their previous UEFA match. With both performances, and his performance in the English Premier League thus far, fans of the sport have decided to start paying attention to this talent.

The attention he is receiving now is not only as a result of his play on the football pitch but his dedication to fighting world hunger.

Earlier this month he began a petition to extend a food program aimed at feeding little underprivileged children. His petition was rejected despite garnering over 200,000 signatures. After his play yesterday that number more than doubled.

Its uncertain which inspires which. Whether his play on the pitch inspires his philanthropic efforts, or whether his desire to create change is fuelling his determination on the pitch, but one thing is certain, and that’s the fact that if he sustains or better, elevates his level of play, he will have more leverage to demand and facilitate change, galvanizing a fan base which will gladly buy into what he is selling.

We are in an era where athletes are using their platform to speak on social issues and Marcus Rashford is not only using his platform to speak, he is using his skills to strengthen that platform, and this no doubt is a recipe for success, and the reason why Rashford has been all the rave in the soccer world for the last 12 hours. He’s no longer some random player calling for change he is Marcus Rashford, calling for change.

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