Juan Mata has dismissed suggestions that Manchester United teammate Marcus Rashford should ‘stick to playing football’, during an exclusive interview with Sky Sports.
Rashford was awarded an MBE earlier this month for his continual campaigning for the less fortunate kids in England – which he was one of while growing up.
It’s commendable to see a player of Rashford’s tender age leading a movement so considerable, and Man United teammate Mata appears to hold the same opinion.
Mata, who will know Rashford inside out having played with him throughout his entire Man United career to date, is quoted by Sky Sports saying:
“I’m very proud of what Marcus has been doing. On the pitch, of course we know how good he is and he is still performing very well but off the pitch also, the work he’s been doing over the last months has been great.”
“He has improved the quality of life for so many kids in this country, which I’m sure everyone is proud of. His family should be proud of him, me, as a team-mate, and the club are very proud of him.”
“And I think it’s important also to get the message that of course we are football players and our main focus is our professional life, which is training and playing football and being ready to perform but that doesn’t take away from having time to do these kind of things, which doesn’t take any focus away from our professional life.”
“I’ve seen some people saying, Marcus should stick to playing football and things like that, which I don’t really agree with because he can do both, as he’s showing. And I’m very proud of what he’s done and he’s getting the reward he deserves.”
And he’s absolutely spot on.
Rashford is a superb footballer, but using his platform for good is a choice that not all footballers choose to make. He ought to be commended for doing it.
He finds himself in a privileged position in life, and one where he is a role model for the next generation. All that he is doing is for the better of children across England.
Telling him to stick to football is a crime against the children he is helping.