Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford is shocked by his own rapid rise. The 18-year-old forward made his debut for the Reds in February and has already been included in Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad for Euro 2016.
Rashford revealed he was not considering the prospect of featuring for England at the turn of the year and was instead focused on cementing his place in Manchester United's U-21 side. He is thrilled to be in France and is busily preparing for England's opening game against Russia on Saturday (11 June).
"Back then, I was trying to work my way into the U-21 side and all of a sudden, I appear in the first-team," the United star told TheFA.com. "So you have to be ready when your chance comes.
"To be honest, I was not really thinking about the England set-up as much, because at United there were a lot of games coming thick and fast, so all my focus was on those games. At the end of the season, you hear talks and stuff, but to be here now, it's just amazing."
Rashford, who signed a lucrative new contract with United in May, admitted he tries to avoid dwelling on his meteoric rise because he fears it could inhibit his on-field performances. "To be fair, I try not to think about it too much, because that's when the pressure can get to your head and affects your performance," he said. "For me, it's just a case of concentrating on how I've been playing."
Even though he is now an established member of the United first team, Rashford admits he still finds the experience of mixing with the biggest names in English football to be a little surreal. "At first, when I went into the changing room and you see all of the shirts, and you see all of the names on the back of the shirts, it doesn't seem real," he confessed.
"I remember going home after and speaking to my brother about it and he agreed with me - he did not think it was real, neither. But that's what it's like. Until you get used to it, that's what it's going to be like."