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I will not stick to football – says Marcus Rashford

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Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has made clear of his intentions of ‘’not sticking to football’’ after the footballer was criticized by some for his involvement in off-pitch matters. 

The England international, who has been honored as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), has been actively leading a movement with a view to eradicating child hunger from the UK. 

He earned widespread acclaim when he managed to persuade the British government to provide free meals to school children during holidays and Covid shutdowns.

Despite initial reluctance, the UK government sanctioned free meals for school children during Easter and summer holidays. 

Rashford proposed an expansion of the program that would have brought in 1.5 million more children under its coverage.

He also called for providing more generous meal vouchers to pregnant women and parents with young children. 

The 23-year-old launched a parliamentary petition that required a hundred thousand signatures to become eligible for House of Commons debate.

Getting public support

It got more than a million signatures, but the proposition got dismissed in House of Commons voting following strong disapproval from Conservative MPs. 

Rashford continues to fight for the cause and in a recent interview with The Spectator, he confirmed that he won’t step away fearing denunciation. 

“You grow up idolizing figures in this game who turn out to be just like you and me. Human beings with human emotions and who, more than likely, have overcome some level of adversity in their career. 

“Disappointingly for some, the ‘stick to football’ advice doesn’t cut it where I’m from. See, when my community had nothing to call their own, they always found something in the way of kindness to give me. 

“I am a product of their compassion, of their drive and of their willingness to offer me more than what was on my doorstep. I’d be doing that community and my family a disservice if I did not use my platform to speak on behalf of the millions whose voices are not being heard.”

Besides child hunger, Rashford has also arranged social programs to battle illiteracy and promote Universal Credit.  

Also delivering on the pitch

His social obligations, however, couldn’t distract him from his duties as a footballer.

He had 36 goal contributions for Manchester United last season in 57 appearances.

As a result, Gareth Southgate rewarded him with a spot in England’s Euro 2021 squad. 

He is currently recuperating from a surgery on his shoulder and is yet to play for Man United this season. But, he is expected to return to training soon. 

Marcus Rashford will expect to occupy the left side of a Manchester United attack that would have Jadon Sancho on the other side and Cristiano Ronaldo up top. 

However, Rashford will be facing strong competition from Mason Greenwood, who has made the best out of the opportunities he got, and scored three goals in Man United’s opening three fixtures in absence of Rashford. 

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FOOTBALL

WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo performs obscene gestures as fans chant Lionel Messi’s name

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi

During the Saudi Pro League game between Al Shabab and Al Nassr, Nassr skipper Cristiano Ronaldo was seen making obscene gestures towards rival fans. The Shabab fans were chanting Ronaldo’s biggest rival Lionel Messi’s name. Not for the first time though, some Saudi football fans do prefer Messi over the Portuguese player. Meanwhile, during the game on Sunday, the Portugal international crossed all the limits as he made some obscene gestures.

Watch the video here

Talking about the game, the Yellow Brigade, Nassr won against Shabab. Ronaldo gave his team as he made the most of the penalty in the 21st minute of the game. However, in the injury time of the first half, Yannick Carrasco scored an equalizer before going into the break. In the first minute of the second half, Anderson Talisca gave a lead to Nassr. In the 67th minute, Carlos scored the equalizer for Shabab, and the game looked like ending in a tie before Talisca scored the match-winning goal in the 86th minute.

Meanwhile, the former Real Madrid player is set to face disciplinary action. As per the Saudi writer and television host, the disciplinary committee might take action.

“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see. Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are” Waleed Al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, said on X.

Cristiano Ronaldo faced disciplinary action during his stint with Manchester United

A few months before the FIFA World Cup 2022, he threw a fan’s phone when he was part of the English club, Manchester United. He was banned for a few games which meant that he missed a few games for his current club, Nassr. However, the ban didn’t apply in the World Cup as he was available for selection during the tournament, in which his team lost the Quarterfinal to Morrocco.

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Virgil Van Dijk’s late strike in extra time helps Liverpool beat Chelsea in Carabao Cup final

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Liverpool emerged victorious in the Carabao Cup final in 2024. In a thrilling game which was full of twists and turns, Liverpool managed to beat Chelsea to clinch the cup. Jurgen Klopp’s men were awarded with the winner’s medal as they edged out Chelsea in a low-scoring thriller that went to extra time. The defence of both sides was good to watch.

The match had many edge-of-the-seat moments. In the first half, Liverpool attempted a lot of shots over Chelsea. While some were out of target, some were in the target, but stopped by the goalkeeper. Cody Gakpo was unlucky to find the ball hit the goalpost. The strike of the youngster went in vain as the first half did not witness any goal.

Liverpool’s skipper was brilliant in the game. He martialed his troops well and got the coordination going for a long time. He in fact nearly had a goal in the first half, only to be ruled out by the VAR, which was highly controversial. There is a debate for the legitimacy of the goal which was not given despite the help of the technology. Liverpool did not get carried away with the moment.

Captain brilliant Virgil Van Dijk steps up in crunch moments

Klopp deployed younger players as substitutes in the 2nd half. It helped Liverpool a lot as they were able to not just put pressure on Chelsea but also create a lot of chances. While none of them were converted to goals in the second half, they ensured that Chelsea’s players were in check. At one stage, the absence of Mohammad Salah in the middle was felt.

The match went to the extra time, where things got a bit closer. Chelsea attempted to score goals but ended up giving more advantage to Liverpool. The younger legs marked well and provided good assists to the forwards. The moment came in the 118th minute of the game, when Van Dijk netted the goal and helped Liverpool to win the prestigious title.

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Virat Kohli picks his ‘Sporting GOAT’

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Virat Kohli was asked to pick his ‘Sporting GOAT’ in a recent interview. The star cricketer was interviewed by Team Blue Rising who asked him to name the greatest sportsperson of all time. “Who is your Sporting GOAT?” asked the host to the star batter. Kohli did not hesitate to take the name of one of the greatest Football players as his pick for the question.

The Indian batter claimed Cristiano Ronaldo to be the greatest Football player of all time. “For me, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Virat in the interview. It came as no surprise to the fans, as Virat has always been a huge admirer of the star Footballer. Even in the past, the 35-year-old has expressed his admiration for the star player from Portugal.

In many instances, the Indian batter has claimed Ronaldo to be his favourite player. Ronaldo has been one of the best players the sport has ever seen. Many claim him to be arguably the greatest Sportsperson of all time. Virat has joined the list of those to claim him to be the greatest athlete in the sports world. Ronaldo has some records to back his claim for the title.

Legacy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virat Kohli

The Portuguese Footballer has the greatest number of goals for an international team. He also has the greatest number of international caps for a player. The star player is the only player to win four major cups with two different clubs. He did it with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Cristiano has the second most number of Ballon d’Or titles (Five) after Lionel Messi.

Virat, on the other hand, is a great cricketer. He has the greatest number of hundreds for a batter in ODIs. Virat has the greatest number of hundreds in ODIs while chasing. He is also the highest run scorer for India in T20Is. Kohli has the most runs for a batter in the IPL. He has the greatest number of POTT awards for a player in the T20 WC and the ODI WC.

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