England thrashed Iran 6-2 in Qatar, with Rashford scoring the Three Lions’ fifth goal just 49 seconds after coming off the bench.
This was the 25-year-old’s first appearance for his country since the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy, where he missed his penalty in the shootout and received horrific racist abuse in the aftermath.
It’s been a difficult year for Rashford since last summer, with injuries crippling his form on the pitch and affecting him off it, but this season he has looked rejuvenated and his performances for Manchester United earned him a well-deserved recall.
Gareth Southgate’s faith in him has already been rewarded, and Rashford thanked fans for their support on social media after the game.
‘Words can’t express my happiness in scoring at the World Cup,’ he wrote on Instagram.
‘Great performance from the team see you guys on Friday [for the next game against the USA].’
And among the comments on his post was none other than United and England legend Beckham who was in attendance at the Khalifa International Stadium as part of his controversial role as ambassador for the Qatar World Cup.
‘Great goal mate,’ the former Three Lions captain replied.
Several current and former England and United teammates added their congratulations, such as Portugal star Bruno Fernandes who wrote: ‘What a player.’
Former England striker Alan Shearer was also full of praise for Rashford, telling the BBC: ‘There was a lot of debate about whether he should have been in the squad – what an answer.
‘It [the goal] looks effortless. He makes it look so easy, [but] of course it’s not.’
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