Teenage sensation Marcus Rashford has admitted that his whirlwind four-month rise to prominence firstly with Manchester United and now England “doesn’t seem real”.
The 18-year-old was a relative unknown at the beginning of February, but after breaking into the United first team he finished the season with eight goals in 18 club appearances.
An England call-up followed and having opened his international account within three minutes on his debut in a 2-1 win over Australia, he is now gearing up for their opening Euro 2016 game against Russia on Saturday.
“It doesn’t seem real, when you look back at it,” Rashford said in an interview published on the Football Association website on Thursday.
“I was actually trying to work my way into (United’s) under-21s side and all of a sudden I appeared in the first team. You have to be ready when your chance comes.
“To be honest, I wasn’t really thinking about the England set-up as much because obviously at United there was a lot of games coming thick and fast so all of my focus was on those games.
“At the end of the season you hear talk and stuff, but to be here now is just amazing. For it to be in my hands to go out and help the country is an amazing feeling.”
The Manchester-born youngster conceded that he and his family have struggled to take in the enormity of his achievement in being called up by England.
“When I first went into the changing room and saw all of the players’ names on the back of their shirts, it didn’t seem real,” he said during the interview, which was filmed near England’s Chantilly base.
“I remember going home after and speaking to my brother about it and he agreed with me. He didn’t think it was real either. That’s what it’s like until you get used to it.
“I tried not to think about it too much because that’s probably where the pressure and stuff starts to get to people’s heads and affect their performance.
“For me, I was just concentrating on playing how I’d been playing and all of a sudden the goal came. It was a good way to start.”
Roy Hodgson’s England face Russia in Marseille in their Group B opener before tackling neighbours Wales and Slovakia.