When Marcus Rashford picked up the ball around 25 yards from goal and stylishly spanked England a touch closer to a summer of chaos in Russia, he did what all the biggest and brightest do; he snatched excitement (and a result) from the jaws of mediocrity.
Case in point: Lionel Messi. Messi has been carrying Barcelona on his shoulders for a little while now. Even when Neymar took centre stage for a period of time it was Messi’s brand and affiliation with the club that helped fans cling on to the evaporating notion that arguably the best team of the past decade were still ‘més que un club’.
The men who have trodden similar roads to Rashford for club and country have one thing in common. The number 7 shirt. David Beckham did it for both, the iconic tournament qualifying goal against Greece probably being the best example of this.
Cantona, Ronaldo, and Best have also all been game changers and winners at club level and Rashford’s audition for the magnificent 7 began by bagging consecutive doubles on his first two starts for the club. He already has a Manchester derby winner to his name to add to the bargain.
Whilst there’s a pretty good chance that Antoine Griezmann will reacquaint the Alice band with the famous jersey next summer, Jose Mourinho should consider that he could do a lot worse than turning to the brightest prospect since ‘92.