Rashford Apologises For EURO 2020 Final Penalty Miss
Marcus Rashford has apologised for his missed penalty in Sunday’s EURO 2020 final defeat to Italy at Wembley.
The 23-year-old Manchester United forward was introduced as a late extra-time substitute primarily for the shootout after the game ended 1-1 but struck the post with his kick as Italy triumphed on the day.
In a moving message on Twitter, Rashford wrote: “I don’t even know where to start and I don’t even know how to put into words how I am feeling at this exact time. I’ve had a difficult season, I think that’s been clear for everyone to see and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence. I’ve always backed myself for a penalty, but something didn’t feel quite right. During the long run-up I was saving myself a bit of time and unfortunately the result was not what I wanted.
“I felt as though I had let my team-mates down. I felt as if I’d let everyone down. A penalty was all I’d been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep, so why not that one? It’s been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels. Final. 55 years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had of gone differently.”
Rashford and teammates Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who also missed their kicks, were subjected to racist abuse online after the game.
Despite apologising for the missed spot kick, Rashford issued a message of defiance for the racists and promised to come back stronger after receiving messages of support.
“I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from. I’ve felt no prouder moment than wearing those three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of 10s of thousands.
“I dreamt of days like this. The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears. The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up.
“I’m Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else, I have that. For all the kind messages thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.”