World Cup-winning legend Pele has urged Marcus Rashford to show no fear at this summer's European Championships. The 18-year-old striker has emerged from nowhere since making his professional debut in February to force his way into Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad, and the Brazilian icon has offered him some words of encouragement ahead of the tournament.
Pele, who was a star of the 1958 World Cup in Sweden at the age of 17, thinks Rashford's age is an irrelevance. But he said the Manchester United youngster must show a fearless attitude if he is to make his mark this summer.
"Today it doesn't matter about age," Pele said about the United starlet, according to The Mirror. "It is important to be prepared. But never, never, never be afraid. I wish him the same luck that I had in my life. There is big pressure but I think he has to have confidence and trust himself."
The three-times World Cup winner also urged Rashford not to allow the enormity of the occasion to inhibit his on-field performances. "Before I won the World Cup first time, I was told by my coaches: 'You are here because you have a style, you are a good player, don't be afraid because the other players are older than you.' That is my message [to Rashford] too," he said of the teenager, who recently won the FA Cup with United.
Rashford is set to be named on the bench for England's final warm-up game before Euro 2016. In the build up to the match at Wembley, his United and England captain Wayne Rooney has insisted Rashford merits his place in the squad. "I strongly believe Marcus deserves his place in the squad," Rooney shared. "He can be a dangerous player."