Luke Shaw has backed Marcus Rashford to compete for the very top individual honour in football if he carries on with his current career path.
Shaw told the club website he believes Rashford has the ability and attitude to one day win the Ballon d’Or, an award won five times by former United icon Cristiano Ronaldo.
The left-back praised Rashford’s performances this season, and attributed his step up to the forward’s self-belief.
Shaw said: “He’s looked unstoppable at times this season and he’s looked so confident. I haven’t seen that in him before. He was always confident, but not to this level, and he’s matured so much.
“He knows he has the ability to be one of the best and he’s pushing himself all the time to maximise that. There’s no reason why, if he keeps going, keeps pushing himself, that he can’t win it one day.”
Shaw went on to praise Rashford’s attitude and work off the pitch, and the example he sets to younger Reds coming through the club’s academy.
Long way to go
Rashford is only 22-years-old and his best chance of winning the game’s top individual honour may only come once Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have retired.
The big step for Rashford to gain recognition is to start winning major trophies.
It will likely take a Champions League or World Cup win for Rashford to truly put himself on the shortlist for the game’s top honour.
First, Rashford needs to help United secure qualification for the Champions League over the next few weeks.
He is already on 19 goals for the season and if he carries on where he left off before picking up a back injury, then you have to fancy our chances.
Ultimately the Ballon d’Or is a sideshow, when compared to the goal of winning silverware with United.
Rashford may be able to lift a couple of trophies with United still this season, the FA Cup and Europa League. Those would be a good start.
Shaw’s comments speak volumes about the respect Rashford has of his United teammates, and the belief they have in his abilities.
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