England forward Marcus Rashford has apologised for missing a crucial penalty at the Euro 2020 final in Wembley against Italy but reacted strongly to the racial abuse directed at him.
Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were three England footballers who were subjected to racial abuse after the final while a mural in Rashford's hometown of Withington was defaced before it was covered in messages of support.
In his post on Twitter, Rashford also spoke about the "brotherhood" bond he shared with his teammates, calling this campaign and the journey "one of the best camps" he has ever experienced.
He said, “Whilst I continue to say sorry, I want to shout out my team-mates. This summer has been one of the best camps I’ve experienced, and you’ve all played a role in that. A brotherhood has been built that is unbreakable. Your success is my success. Your failures are mine.”
"I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from."
“I’m Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that. For all the kind messages thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.”
The Manchester United player who took the third penalty after coming on as a late substitute in extra time, hit the post after sending Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma the wrong way.
"I don't even know where to start and I don't even know how to put into words how I'm feeling at this exact time," he added.
"I've had a difficult season, I think that's been clear for everyone to see and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence.
"I've always backed myself for a penalty but something didn't feel quite right. During the long run-up, I was saving myself a bit of time and, unfortunately, the result was not what I wanted.
"I felt as though I let my team mates down. I felt as if I'd let everyone down.
"A penalty was all I'd been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep so why not that one? It's been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there's probably not a word to describe how it feels."
While there were fans who were unpleasant, one of the letters of support to Rashford said: “I hope you won’t be sad for too long because you are such a good person. Last year you inspired me to help people less fortunate. Then last night you inspired me again, to always be brave. I’m proud of you, you will always be a hero.”
Rashford's Done His Bit and More for the People of UK
The England footballer has been doing his bit for the people of England off the field as well since 2019 when he launched his ‘In the Box’ campaign, inspiring people to donate more than 1,000 boxes of essential items for those in homeless shelters in Manchester.
After that, once the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and UK closed all their schools, Rashford raised a remarkable 20 million Pounds to ensure that kids who normally would avail of the meals system in the schools would not face any difficulty during the lockdown.
Rashford, who relied on free school meals himself, wrote an open letter to MPs about the matter citing his own example.
The plea was initially rejected by the Government before the PM Boris Johnson made a complete U-turn and launched a scheme which helped to feed about 1.3 million children in England.
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